Mayor of Ekorholini Mzwandel Massina. (Images: Gallo Images / Sharon Seretlo)
The mayor of Ekorholeni, Mzwandel Macina, was involved in a high-speed crash in the middle of the night at the wheel of a luxury municipal car that he allegedly did not have a permit to drive. An eyewitness told the police that he acted as if he was drunk. Thirteen months later, the embarrassing incident has apparently been kept secret.
Shortly after midnight on August 20, 2020, a large cargo truck traveling on the N12 West near Alberton from behind collided with a black BMW 540i, said to be traveling at high speed. It was not a serious accident: no one was hurt, the truck was not damaged and the car was scratched on the passenger side, with the mirror shattered.
But what turned a minor barrier into a political mystery is what was revealed next, as shown in written testimonies from witnesses and metro police and in interviews with beetles. Mayor Mzwandel Macina’s BMW was driving, breaking the curfew in a city-owned car he allegedly used without permission. He was removed from the scene before the police investigation was completed and no witness statement was taken from him.
Tell the truck driver, who asked not to be named beetles He was driving an articulated truck owned by SF Logistics. Near the turning points into the M12 and M3, he and a co-passenger in the rear-view mirrors noticed a car appeared behind them, driving at high speed and swaying through the lanes. “Then I heard a bump and noticed a BMW beside the rear tire on either side.”
He slowed down the truck, stopped it, and got off. Two more cars stopped behind them, and the men were climbing outside, shouting “Mayor, are you okay?” Then they approached the truck driver “saying I hit the mayor and they were violent. The driver (Masina) approached and was screaming at me, and people stopped him.”
As the heated confrontation continued, a woman appeared and introduced herself to the truck driver as Massena’s wife. “She was very understanding when she explained what had happened and took it away.”
So far, according to a witness, the scene did not resemble a minor accident, with a number of metro police cars arriving, as well as the mayor’s VIP protection entourage.
A metro police officer questioned both drivers and recorded a brief summary in the accident report, with each driver blaming the other. “Driver A (the truck driver) claimed that he was traveling on 2second abbreviation The lane direction is due west when vehicle “B” is heading to it from the left side (unread). Driver B (Masina) claimed he was driving west on the N12 in the middle lane when Driver A approached his lane and crashed into him. The driver of vehicle “A” continued to drive and was able to stop him [sic]. “
beetles He asked the truck driver if it was true that he failed to stop after the accident. He said a heavily loaded cargo truck couldn’t be stopped immediately, but he slowed it down and stopped more on the road.
A second officer arrived at the scene at 00:50. By then Massina had left and only the truck driver was present. The truck driver filed an affidavit making an additional allegation: “Immediately I heard a sound, it hit the tire of my rear trailer and I noticed it was drugged. [drunk]. “
There is no equivalent sworn statement from Masina in the accident report file. The accident report says there was no suspicion of drunk driving, and she was not tested.
At half past eight that morning, an officer of the highest rank, Supervisor Kelobogile Thepa was informed of the incident. I found out that the BMW didn’t belong to Masina, but was a “light blue” VIP car for the mayor’s office.
Thiba was the head of the VIP Protection Unit of the Metro Ekurholini Police Department (EMPD) at the time.
In a sworn statement attached to the investigation report, she said that after learning that the mayor was driving a VIP car from EMPD, she notified the police chief and asked him to intervene.
“he is [Chief of Police] He requested a meeting with the mayor where he explained the vehicle policy operations within EMPD and asked if the mayor was aware that an EMPD vehicle was being operated with a valid driver’s licence.
“The mayor expressed a lack of knowledge of EMPD policies and promised not to operate the vehicle designated for EMPD as officers were assigned for protection and transportation.”
More questions than answers
In the thirteen months following the incident, no further investigations were conducted. The official position is that it was a minor accident that does not warrant further examination. But it seems that a number of aspects definitely deserve more attention:
- Why was Massina allowed to leave the scene under investigation?
- Why didn’t the police ask or record why he was on the road at that hour during the curfew?
- Why was he driving an EMPD without permission? And
- Why wasn’t a possible poisoning investigated when the truck driver openly accused Masina of being drunk?
beetles Talk to several people who were at the scene or were familiar with the investigation. No one will speak formally, either because they were not authorized to speak to the media, or because they were warned “not to say anything about the incident again”.
Someone said, “How can you objectively investigate your boss, someone who can make your life at work miserable. The truth is that there is a lot of intimidation going on in Ekurhuleni.”
Another said: “The mayor has several personal cars. Why did he take this particular blue-light car meant for police officers in the middle of the night? You need a permit to drive a police car. Isn’t this an abuse of state resources? When the accident happened, the mayor called his entourage of senior The dignitaries were on the spot and other high-ranking officers of the EMPD Division, yet this was a simple and straightforward incident.”
The Mayor’s Office Responds
The mayor’s spokesperson, Vakamil Mbengashi, gave an explanation of why the mayor was on the road during the curfew.
“On the evening of August 20, 2020, the Executive Mayor has just concluded a series of service delivery supervision visits in Vosloros when he was notified of a medical emergency involving a close relative in Cattlehong, which he urgently attended. A family member died later on the same day, August 20, 2020.”
Mbingashi provided a death certificate for the person showing that she had already died on August 20, 2020.
The reason for Massina driving the VIP Protection Vehicle was: “At the time of receiving the notification of the medical emergency, the Executive Mayor’s Protection Unit had already completed their shift, and they were no longer with the Executive Mayor.”
He claimed there was no interference by the police chief: “All EMPD operations were followed in accordance with department policies.”
However, this section deals with specific vehicles intended for the exclusive use of the mayor, including personal purposes, while it is not clear that the same provision applies to VIP protection vehicles intended for the mayor’s office.
Section 22.214.171.124 states that: “The use of any other municipal vehicle by the Mayor is not permitted.”
Mbingashi said the damage to the car was minimal, isolated from the rearview mirror only, and that the mayor covered the cost of the damage in his personal capacity.
However, photos from the accident report show not just a broken mirror, but a long wound on the passenger side, running through the front and rear doors. (see picture above)
If Masina blamed the truck driver for the damage, why would he choose to pay for the slap out of his pocket? DM