Nelson Mandela Bay Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels says his party will call in top legal minds to help find out why no blood alcohol tests were done on Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Executive Mayor Nqaba Bhanga following his car crash.
Bhanga was involved in a fatal two-car accident at close to midnight on Saturday evening, after curfew, with speculation rife that he may not have been in a fit state to drive himself after celebrating his birthday.
Bhanga, a Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor and the party’s Eastern Cape leader, was hospitalised at the Netcare Greenacres Hospital, while the two occupants of the other vehicle were killed at the scene.
Speaking to Aldrin Sampear on SAFM’s Beyond The Headlines on Thursday, Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse Van Rensburg confirmed that no blood-alcohol tests had been performed on the individuals involved in the accident.
Van Rensburg said that the medics’ first priority was always to attend to the injured victims of any crash.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said that on arrival to an accident scene, emergency services first make sure the scene is safe for first responders.
Local authorities will then close down the road and the paramedics will assist in the situation and see if there are any patients on the scene.
“If there are patients, treatment will take priority. Taking blood is the responsibility of local authorities if they wish to have any tests done. Paramedics will not do any tests on the scene; they will make sure the patient is in a stable enough condition to arrive at the hospital. Authorities will then give permission to the hospital for tests to see whether there is alcohol or any other substance.”
Daniels said, however, that not taking the mayor’s blood following an accident that had resulted in the deaths of two people was wrong and should be challenged.
The councillor said authorities had an opportunity to do the tests as the mayor at the time had been believed to be suffering from minor injuries.
“Once the paramedics have stabilised the patient and taken them to hospital, there is an opportunity there to check the blood. He got special treatment,” said Daniels.
Daniels sent his condolences to the families of those who’d lost their lives in the accident and vowed to investigate the matter further.
“We are flying in top attorneys in the country to speak to the police and other stakeholders to find out why blood tests were not done.”