City Staff Drag-Racing Fun Came To An End

The City’s Mayoral Committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, noted with utter disappointment the arrest of two City of Cape Town staff members on Wednesday evening, 12 July 2017, for illegal street racing.

The City’s Ghost Squad was conducting operations in the Milnerton/Plattekloof area, which is one of several hotspots in Cape Town.

At approximately 23:00, one of the officers spotted a Subaru and Ford ST racing along the N7 in the direction of Bosmansdam Road. He called for back-up and pursued the vehicles, eventually forcing them to a stop. Upon interrogating the drivers, officers found that one of them was a female traffic officer and the other a City firefighter who had another female traffic officer in the passenger seat.

The suspects were charged with reckless and negligent driving and participating in an illegal street race. The City has also instituted disciplinary steps, with pre-suspension letters set to be issued today.

While I do not want to pre-judge the situation, there is no doubt that an incident like this has the potential to cause serious reputational harm to the City, but also to jeopardise our enforcement efforts. Illegal street racing is extremely dangerous and one of our many enforcement challenges. It is therefore disappointing that the very people who are supposed to protect the public make themselves guilty of this type of behaviour.

As the City we will not shy away from highlighting wrongdoing within our ranks, because it is important to demonstrate that we prosecute fairly and without fear or favour, irrespective of the parties involved. I also want to reassure the public that the actions of a few do not represent the thousands of dedicated employees within our safety and security services who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep Cape Town safe.

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