Cape Times

Hasty motorist ‘grabs officer’s keys before speeding to airport’

- RAPULA MOATSHE rapula.moatshe@inl.co.za

A FEMALE motorist was arrested after a high-speed which ensued when she allegedly snatched the keys of a vehicle belonging to the Tshwane metro police department and fled while an officer was busy issuing a traffic fine to her.

The incident occurred on Monday afternoon after the officer was driving along Francis Baard Street approachin­g Thabo Sehume Street in the Pretoria inner city.

The officer is a VIP protector assigned to City of Tshwane city manager Johann Mettler and the woman has been identified as senior manager at a subsidiary of one of the water boards.

Municipal spokespers­on Selby Bokaba said the VIP protector came across a motorist allegedly obstructin­g traffic in a Mercedes-Benz sedan in the CBD.

“The police official activated a siren and signalled to the female motorist to move in order to avoid obstructin­g traffic, but she allegedly refused to obey his instructio­n. He stepped out of the vehicle, approached her, and showed her his appointmen­t certificat­e,” he said.

Bokaba said the officer informed the woman that he was going to issue her with a traffic fine.

While he was busy writing out the fine, the woman allegedly grabbed the official vehicle’s keys from the ignition and drove off.

Bokaba said the official was left stranded in the inner city. Mettler was engaged in a meeting when the incident happened.

“The police official immediatel­y called his supervisor from the planning section and informed him of the incident, and the supervisor, together with the freeway patrol, located the suspect through the vehicle’s tracking system and chased her on the R21 south,” he said.

He said the woman allegedly kept ignoring the police’s instructio­ns to bring her rental car to a halt during the high-speed chase.

When she ultimately stopped, police politely requested her to hand over the keys of the state vehicle. She allegedly refused.

Bokaba said: “She drove off again, apparently in a rush to catch a flight, and police gave chase and eventually apprehende­d her at the OR Tambo Internatio­nal Airport.”

The woman was taken to the Pretoria Central police station where a common robbery and theft case was opened against her with the CAS number 347/03/2024.

She was briefly detained and released.

Bokaba said she allegedly refused to sign a 299 form – a document completed when returning SAPS13 items to an owner.

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