A Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officer allegedly killed three people and injured two more in an apparent drunk-driving incident on Sunday night.
Chief of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) David Tembe has confirmed that an off-duty JMPD officer was involved in a “three-car pile-up collision” that resulted in the deaths of three people, including a mother and her two children. Two other people were injured.
He said the suspect, who was assigned to vehicle protection, was using a BMW which belonged to the JMPD when he allegedly committed the offence.
Tembe also confirmed that the suspect had undergone a breathalyser test on the scene and was found to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
The suspect, who sustained minor injuries, was arrested and was being detained at the Lenasia police station. He is expected to appear in court today on charges of drunken driving, misuse of council property and three counts of culpable homicide.
Tembe said the police would investigate the incident further and that an internal disciplinary hearing would be carried out by the JMPD.
Meanwhile, the officer has been suspended “with immediate effect”.
Tembe expressed his shock after receiving the news of a “good officer” and said the suspect was one of the best in their department with a service record of more than 10 years.
However, he added: “I am not going to allow a JMPD officer to portray a bad reputation of the department because one potato spoils the whole bag.”
He took the opportunity to apologise to the family of the deceased and the public, saying the officer’s alleged behaviour did not reflect what they stood for as a law-enforcement agency.
He said he would be visiting the families of the deceased today to offer his condolences.