IFP KZN premier candidate’s blue-light vehicles impounded

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The motorcade of the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) premier candidate in KwaZulu-Natal was pulled over and blue-light vehicles were impounded by police and eThekwini metro officers.

Thami Ntuli, who is also the mayor of the King Cetshwayo District Municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, says the move appears to have been aimed at disrupting his election campaign.

The IFP says its provincial chairperson’s convoy was forcibly stopped by heavily armed police and eThekwini metro officers. Ntuli was on his way home from Durban.

According to his party, Ntuli’s bags were searched and his bodyguards were disarmed. The party says upon finding nothing illegal and untoward from Ntuli, he was forced to drive himself home.

The party says it viewed this as political bullying that put the life of its premier candidate at risk. Police say Ntuli’s two-vehicle convoy was impounded because it was not permitted to drive with blue lights.

Colonel Robert Netshiunda, the KZN police spokesperson, explains: “Anybody who drives vehicles fitted with the blue lights without any authority and that person is not a police officer, is not a traffic police officer, is not a municipal police officer or a member of a defense force authorised to drive a car with blue light is in contravention of the law. And it doesn’t matter who the person is because when the police stopped the vehicles they did not know who was driving the vehicle.”

Brush with the law

It’s not the first time that Ntuli had a brush with the law. In 2020, Ntuli, who was then the Mayor of Nkandla, was arrested after allegedly contravening the Disaster Management Act on lockdown restrictions, which prohibited public gatherings.

Charges against him were later withdrawn.

Ntuli says the recent incident appears to be a political plan by the party’s opponents aimed at disrupting their campaign.

“To me, the incident was a planned and directed to my campaign as a premier candidate, putting my life at risk because when they were doing all what they were doing because it was dark in that corner. And you could not understand what was going to happen ultimately. That’s why I decided to leave on a private car alone without the protectors.”

Police say they’ve opened an inquiry. Ntuli’s vehicles have not yet been returned.

Elections 2024 | IFP’s KZN premier candidate pulled over by police, bodyguards disarmed: