The roadblock severely affected traffic on the national highway in both directions for between six and eight hours, resulting in delays of up to one and a half hours and much frustration for many motorists.
“This office can confirm the roadblock was authorised and proper written authority was obtained in terms of Section 13(8) of the SAPS Act of 1995,” police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said.
“As a copy of the authorisation per direction of the authority, members of the SAPS and JMPD can execute a roadblock and vehicle checkpoint on the public road for the recovery of stolen vehicles, driving without drivers’ licences, drunk driving, driving without registration numbers as well as checking for outstanding fines.”
Malila said motorists stopped at the roadblock had the right to request a copy of the authorisation, but he did not supply a copy of it as per The Citizen’s request.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar also insisted that the roadblock was legal, saying the authorisation had been signed by Honeydew station commander Brigadier Wayne Sirkhot.
JPSA national chairperson Howard Dembovsky said late yesterday afternoon that the organisation could not accept these claims without seeing the authorisation, which it had yet to be given a copy.
He said JPSA had received numerous complaints from motorists, including those travelling with children and the elderly. “Just because someone has the power to authorise a six-hour roadblock on one of the busiest routes in Gauteng on a day designated for family time doesn’t mean that they don’t have to apply their minds.”
Dembovsky said JPSA has lodged a complaint with JMPD chief Zwelibanzi Nyanda, the SAPS Gauteng provincial commissioner, the minister of transport, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the Public Protector and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.
It demanded that the JMPD provide a written undertaking to cease holding roadblocks that are not properly and lawfully authorised by the national or provincial commissioner of SAPS, failing which JPSA would approach the High Court.