LEPHALALE – Thys Eloff, chairman of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) was called on Friday night at exactly 21:59 after a child was injured in an accident on the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and the TVET College. They were desperate to get the police to the scene.
A member of the CPF in Onverwacht was doing patrol in a legal CPF vehicle in Nelson Mandela Avenue when he saw a vehicle in front of him swerving all over the road. It seemed as if the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. The CPF member tried to get the vehicle off the road and continuously flashed his lights to warn him. According to the member the vehicle in front of him simply lost control and hit another vehicle.
According to Eloff he immediately called the service centre (Delta 1) and at 22:10 the person on duty said that the police were on their way to the scene. They also called an ambulance for assistance. Eloff says according to bystanders the police had not yet arrived at the scene and he repeatedly called the station. According to him the woman on call was not very helpful. She either did not answer the phone or simply put the phone down in his ear.
At 22.31 he noticed that the police were still not at the scene. He drove to the police station himself to find out why a vehicle had not been sent out to the scene, where upon he was told that the one available vehicle was busy in an operation in Marapong and there were no other available vehicles. Of the five vehicles (one for each sector) there was apparently only two that were not broken down.
In the meantime, the injured person had still not received any medical help.
According to Eloff he was told by the police that they were at a shooting incident and that the provincial ambulance they needed to transport the injured person was also involved. This shooting incident was allegedly someone who threw a stone at the ambulance. On inquiry the police allegedly said to Eloff that they would have to let the allegedly drunken driver, who caused the accident, go.
According to W.O. Frans Mokoena, Lephalale SAPS spokesperson who was on leave at the time of the incident, according to the accident report, the two vehicles involved are a white VW Polo Classic (BYY 677L) and a red golf GTI (DDV 092L). According to the police report, a police officer was patrolling that area and he came upon the accident. The report also states that the driver of one of the vehicles was already taken to hospital upon his arrival. There was no mention of the injured child.
A case of reckless and negligent driving has been opened per CAS4/4/2016.