EFF slams abuse of public resources

Drunk state vehicle 'driver must face music'

Image: 123RF/ olegdudko

The EFF in the Eastern Cape wants stringent action to be taken against a provincial health department official who allegedly blacked out behind the wheel of a state vehicle in Mdantsane  at the weekend.

Health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana said the department was aware of the incident and he confirmed the official was not authorised to drive the vehicle.

“The driver was arrested by police,” Manana said.

“There is an ongoing investigation by the department to determine all facts surrounding this saga.

“We are making arrangements to take the car back to the health facility and the driver has been taken to a health facility by police for further investigation.”

He said the department would not condone the abuse of state resources that were meant to help the people.

“Employees that bring the department into disrepute will face internal disciplinary processes.” 

According to the EFF spokesperson in the Buffalo City region, Siya Rumbu, the official was “so drunk he could not talk properly” and was struggling to drive the vehicle.

Rumbu said the vehicle was spotted by one of their councillors, Simphiwe Libala.

Apparently Libala saw the vehicle parked at a stop sign and blocking traffic. 

“Libala, together with a few community members, tried to open the car door as the driver appeared to have blacked out,” Rumbu said.

The incident was captured on a 58-second video clip which has been circulating on social media platforms.

This is the second health official to be caught drunk behind the wheel this year.

In August, health MEC Sindiswa Gomba’s personal messenger, Ayanda Matinise, was granted R5,000 bail by the King William’s Town magistrate’s court after being charged with breaching the national lockdown regulations by the unauthorised use of a state vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol, and attempted bribery of police.

He allegedly tried to bribe the officers with R10,000 after a high-speed chase in King William’s Town.

Provincial police could not be reached for comment yesterday about the arrest of the latest official. It is not clear if he will appear in court on Monday.

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