The allegedly drunk police officer filmed around an accident scene in Pretoria West this week will face a criminal case of drunk driving, and internal disciplinary after attempting to flee.
In the video shared on social media platform TikTok, the police officer was filmed stumbling around the scene and leaning on the vehicle that hit a motorcycle.
The officer, whose identity was not yet confirmed, stood arms crossed, in uniform, but without his police cap and his shoulder flashes removed while his police colleagues held onto his pants to keep him from wandering off.
He covered his face as he got into the backseat of a police vehicle and not at the back of the van where suspects are usually kept. Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela condemned the behaviour.
“A criminal case of drunk driving and an internal case in terms of the disciplinary regulations are instituted against the member and he will face the consequences of his actions”, he said.
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Action Society founder Ian Cameron said the incident was disgraceful.
“It brings the police service into even more disrepute than what they already are. “It’s an embarrassment to South Africa with a massive problem with crime and a shortage of police members and then we’ve got members who can’t behave themselves properly in a uniform. It disgusts me,” he said.
Cameron said Pretoria West was a problem area.
“There are many good cops out there, but he is an embarrassment to the force. I would fire him due to his disgraceful behaviour. I think an example should be made of him.”
Security expert Dr Johan Burger said it all came down to the basic principles of command.
“Police undergo semi-military training, where they learn to drill and (do) parades and salutes, and there are ranks in the police for a reason and a commander.
“For example, if the policeman was in a patrol vehicle at the time of the accident, it meant he should have been inspected by a more senior member when he came on duty.
“During the shift, the person in charge must visit the members from time to time and ensure they are doing their work and are sober,” he said, adding the idea of command and control was that continuous supervision must be exercised.
Criminologist Professor Jaco Barkhuizen said police were throwing away the little pride they had left. “The fact that citizens had to film this, shows there is no trust. It shows the officers knew he was drunk and why he tried to flee the scene,” he said.
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