Taxi drivers clashed with police who tried to remove a liquor bottle and dagga from a police vehicle that allegedly skipped a red robot and ploughed into a minibus taxi in Mpumalanga at the weekend.
The allegedly drunk police officer driving the van later fled the accident scene, say witnesses.
The incident occurred next to the Blue Taxi Rank at Embalenhle, Secunda.
Witnesses said a liquor bottle was found under the seat of the police vehicle, and dagga wrapped in a piece of paper was found in the side pocket next to the driver's seat.
A struggle broke out between police investigators and taxi operators who tried to stop the officers from removing the dagga and liquor from the vehicle, witnesses said.
A taxi operator who was at the scene said a detective called aside the drunken officer and spoke to him. The slightly injured officer then hopped into a bakkie parked nearby and sped away.
"He later re-appeared at the scene in plain clothes. He was taken to Hydro-Med Clinic in Trichardt for treatment," the taximan said.
Martiens Skhosana, owner of the damaged minibus taxi, said his driver was treated at Evander Hospital and discharged. He said he visited the accident scene and Hydro-Med Clinic.
"I was accompanied by an executive committee member of the local taxi association. At the clinic we met the policeman at the entrance and he told us he had already had blood samples taken from him.
"We proceeded into the hospital where a doctor who was attending to him told us that the policeman had fled from the consulting room."
Police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane said a case of reckless and negligent driving had been opened. The other allegations were also being investigated. No arrest had been made.