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DURBAN – A MOTORIST, 38, will on Monday appear in the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court on charges of culpable homicide and drunk driving after he drove into a traffic officer in eMpangeni.
Nduduzo Ncanana, 33, a traffic officer in the Umhlathuze Municipality, was on duty on the N2 freeway on Saturday, when he was knocked over by a vehicle which failed to stop, said police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
Ncanana was with his colleague, conducting manual speed operations on the N2 about a kilometre before the R102 turn-off when a silver Audi SUV was spotted by the officers approaching from Melomed/Tangawizi Motors side.
UMhlathuze Municipality spokesperson Mdu Ncalane said the other officer ran across the road in preparation to stop the speeding vehicle. Ncanana remained next to the speed machine, which was set up on the shoulder outside the roadway.
“As the vehicle drew closer, it came behind a bakkie moving in the same direction (northbound). The Audi allegedly veered suddenly to the left behind the bakkie. It clipped the left side of the bakkie and came off the roadway and hit officer Ncanana, who was waiting next to the speed device,” Ncalane said.
Ncanana died on the scene.
“The driver was checked by an officer. He was under the influence of alcohol. The municipality is mourning the untimely death of a dedicated traffic officer,” Ncalane said.
Umhlathuze Ward 23 councillor Andre de Lange described Ncanana’s death as a tragic loss. “We had issues on the road. There were many collisions with a signalised traffic intersection. The City made the intersection a signalised one, but still motorists are not adhering to the rules,” he said.
Resident Steven Whittaker said on Facebook: “This traffic light is a huge problem and people jump it hundreds of times a day. Sometimes, five cars at a time will go through a red light. The City needs to sort these problems out. They also need to stop these drunk drivers – start with the drinking in public and in parks, and a lot of this will go away.
“But stepping out into the road when someone is travelling at high speed will get you killed. RIP to the officer. I hope the City Of Umhlathuze starts to police properly so they can ensure this never happens to an officer again,” he said.