Local police in Tzaneen, Limpopo, say there is nothing sinister about the crashed state vehicle and official police dockets that were found near the crash scene, despite residents suggesting otherwise, Letaba Herald reports.
This after a police vehicle was involved in an accident close to the Deerpark turn-off in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Members of the public stopped at the scene after being alerted to the incident by the security personnel at The Manor.
The flustered security guard told the anonymous persons that there was a woman stuck in a car and she was screaming.
Upon arriving at the scene, the concerned members of the public found it was a police vehicle that had crashed, but there was no one inside the vehicle. The engine of the vehicle was still running.
Residents were then quickly approached by a man claiming to be a police officer and the driver of the vehicle.
The members of the public reported that the ‘driver’ was completely unharmed, despite huge damage done to the vehicle; in particular, the steering column is reported to have been squashed against the driver’s seat.
Feeling uneasy with the situation, the concerned locals asked the man, who was in civilian clothes, for a copy of his police ID.
He could not present any form of official documentation, but is reported to have been in possession of a handgun and handcuffs.
The man asked for assistance in recovering files from the crashed vehicle; they assisted by holding a flashlight.
Letaba Herald could not immediately confirm whether the persons at the crash scene had raised their concerns with the police.
Captain Joseph Moseri, spokesperson of Tzaneen SAPS, was then contacted regarding the incident and advised the following: “It [Information regarding the case] is not yet ready to be released to the media. All I can say is that it seems as though the vehicle was not properly booked for use.”
Official police documentation was recovered from the roadside by a member of the public. These documents were later handed over to Letaba Herald by the concerned resident.
The documentation included a vehicle log book that states which police personnel drove the vehicle and when. It can be noted that there were no records for use on the evening of the incident.
Additionally, an official police docket was handed over, covering the case of a worker that was killed on duty at a well-known supermarket chain in Phalaborwa.
Letaba Herald contacted the police and handed the documents back to them.
Upon handing the official papers back to the police, Letaba Herald was later contacted by Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo and received the following statement: “The South African Police Service in Limpopo would like to thank a member of the public who picked up a police docket and the log book and handed them over to the offices of the Letaba Herald newspaper.
“The said documents got lost during an accident involving a police vehicle on Sunday. As it was during the night, the officer who visited the scene could not see these documents as they were apparently thrown into the nearby bushes during the accident. The injured officer was taken to hospital by an ambulance after the accident. We would like to reiterate that there is nothing sinister about the loss of these documents as it was not in any way a deliberate conduct by any member of the SAPS.”
Letaba Herald sent follow-up queries to the police regarding the concerns raised by residents who were at the crash scene. More information to follow as it becomes available.