NEWS & ANALYSIS

Jeff Radebe runs up R34 600 in traffic fine - Dene Smuts

DA MP says justice minister has the third worst record so far

Jeff Radebe speeds into third place with R34 600 in traffic fines

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe seems serenely unconcerned that the long arm of the law might catch up with him when he is speeding in his Mercedes Benz. A reply to a DA parliamentary question received yesterday reveals that Minister Radebe has incurred traffic fines to the value of R34 600 since 2009, and that he has picked up speed in incurring fines each year since he became Justice Minister. Is this because Ministers are deemed to be above the law and he is confident that fines will be waived?

He has now joined the swelling ranks of national cabinet ministers who have racked up fines in excess of R30 000 between April 2009 and March 2012. Other Cabinet Ministers in the race include the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu (R64 060), the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters (R39 400) and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson (R30 400).

The total tally of fines for national ministers now stands at R207 740. Sixteen Ministers are yet to reply.

I will be asking Minister Radebe which rules of the road were violated for each of his fines; whether the fines have been waived or paid; if they were paid, who paid them; and how fast the Minister was driving in the case of each speeding fine. 

Where was he going in such a hurry on 16 July 2010, on 13 and 28 November 2011 and on 22 January 2012 - the days on which he got three fines of R3 000 each and one fine of R4 500? If he wasn't in the sedan, who was?

As the custodian of our criminal justice system, we would expect Minister Radebe to show more respect for the law, and equality before the law, and for the potentially devastating impact of speeding and other traffic violations on the lives of others. 

If Minister Radebe's need for speed on the road was matched with a desire to speed up the wheels of justice, South Africa would be a better place.

Statement issued by Dene Smuts MP, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, July 25 2012

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