Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 29/04/2010. © Sowetan.
Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 29/04/2010. © Sowetan.

"I AM fit to drive."

These were the words of a taxi driver who was arrested for drunk driving, driving without a licence and driving an unroadworthy vehicle on Jan Smuts Avenue in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, yesterday.

The man in his 40s was one of two motorists apprehended at the roadblock. The other motorist was arrested for driving a vehicle without registration plates.

About 100 traffic fines were issued, said Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.

"I've been drinking since 9am. I only drank two bottles of beer, and I felt fit to drive. My boss instructed me to fetch the taxi from Randburg and take it to Johannesburg. I haven't done anything wrong," said the man.

The man's eyes were red and one could smell liquor in his breath.

Minnaar said the man failed to stop when ordered to and there were passengers in the taxi.

"Police gave chase and stopped him a few metres away," he said.

But the man said: "I didn't think they were stopping me. I thought they were stopping the motorist in front or behind me."

When police at the scene informed him that he was being taken to the police station, he started crying.

He screamed: "My children. How will my children survive?"

Minnaar said: "This is a crime prevention exercise building up to the World Cup. We want people to enjoy themselves and to be responsible. Motorists shouldn't drink and drive because they cause accidents."

He said there would be more police visibility to ensure road safety.

"We will be looking out for motorists who drive without licences, fraudulent licence disks, illegal firearms and stolen vehicles."

l Other roadblocks were set up in Ellis Park and Yeoville, Johannesburg.