Cops drag feet on fatal crash

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police at Osizweni, outside Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal, are under fire from residents after they failed to arrest a drag racer who allegedly killed a local teacher.

Sifiso Buthelezi, 25, who taught accounting at Siyamukela High School, died after a BMW "dragster" lost control of his car and ploughed into spectators.

Buthelezi died on his way to the local hospital. Police opened a case of reckless driving but the charge was changed to culpable homicide.

Despite repeated calls to police from Bheki Cele, provincial MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, to arrest the man, they have not done so.

Police have closed down the drag racing spot. It was previously used as a depot for the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Bus Company.

Members of the community are furious.

Thembeka Mafu, grandmother of a pupil at Siyamukela High School, said: " Buthelezi was a good teacher. It is painful to know that he is dead and the person who killed him doesn' t even get arrested. We don' t know where the school will find a teacher to replace him," she said.

Cele said he would talk to the police to find out why they haven't arrested the suspect.

"Police always encounter problems if there is not enough evidence to arrest a suspect. People might have the information but they do not always want to go all out and give it to the police," he said.