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Khayelitsha police officer charged for drunk driving

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape has launched an investigation into a Khayelitsha officer who was caught on video fighting with a taxi driver

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A police officer Khayelitsha who was caught on video fighting with a local taxi driver after a vehicle accident, has now been charged with drunk and negligent driving.

“On Wednesday afternoon, 23 December 2020, police officials from Lingelethu West police station who were busy with a vehicle checkpoint on Spine Road were alerted  to two vehicles that were involved in an accident in Ilitha Park (not far from where the members were) that led to an altercation between the two drivers,” SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said.

The man has been identified as a 33-year-old constable attached to Khayelitsha Site B police station in the crime prevention unit.

In the clip, which went viral, the constable can be seen getting out of his vehicle, just seconds after the collision, before approaching the taxi driver. He opens the driver door and then strikes the man, prompting jeers from passengers inside the taxi.

Watch: Khayelitsha police officer comes to blows with taxi driver

Soon after the taxi driver exits his vehicle, both men exchange several blows before ending up on the ground and embroiled in a struggle. Police sirens can be heard in the background as the taxi driver manages to pin the officer down before punching him several times.

“The report indicated that one of the vehicles was a marked police van. Upon arrival they found the two vehicles with damages and a SAPS member in uniform who appeared unsteady on his feet. The Lingelethu West police officials took him for testing. He was subsequently charged for driving under the influence of alcohol as well as reckless and negligent driving,”

SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa

The police have since instituted an internal disciplinary investigation into the incident. They have also managed to identify the taxi driver, who will be interviewed as part of the probe.

Police have also condemned the incident, warning that such conduct from a fellow member in blue, will not be allowed.

“The SAPS management condemns the unbecoming conduct of the police official and undertakes to ensure that there will be consequences for his actions. In the same breath the conduct of the taxi driver is the subject of the police investigation,” Potelwa further said.

“Police officials are reminded to uphold the name of the South African Police Service at all times in the manner they carry themselves”