Mbeki beats the grid­lock on foot

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NONI MOKATI, SHEREE BEGA and RAB­BIE SEREMULA

NOT EVEN for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki could es­cape the traf­fic chaos that gripped the Joburg city cen­tre yes­ter­day.

Mbeki walked through the city smil­ing and wav­ing, leav­ing be­hind scores of mo­torists hoot­ing in frus­tra­tion at the traf­fic anarchy.

Mbeki and his wife Zanele had ear­lier made their way along Sauer Street, via Jeppe, in sev­eral blue-light brigade cars that faced on­com­ing traf­fic.

They fi­nally aban­doned their ride when the cars tried to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Not a sin­gle traf­fic of­fi­cial was in sight. Se­cu­rity per­son­nel tried to re­di­rect traf­fic, de­mand­ing that mo­torists give way.

But when this proved fu­tile, the Mbekis ditched their con­voy in the mid­dle of Pritchard Street and walked to the Joburg City Hall to at­tend the me­mo­rial ser­vice for late ANC stal­wart Reg­gie Septem­ber, where Mbeki was the keynote speaker.

As a suit- clad Mbeki alighted from his car, on­look­ers shouted in ex­cite­ment and clapped at the sight of him and his wife.

With sev­eral se­cu­rity guards by their side the cou­ple walked hand in hand to the main hall.

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