Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has condemned the reckless behaviour of some motorists and passengers during the festive season, saying “rubber bullets will fly” if it continues.
This comes after videos of motorists and passengers dancing to loud music along the R80 Mabopane highway in Pretoria went viral this week. In some of the videos, some drivers and passengers can be seen holding liquor bottles.
#COVID19 is real. My heart breaks to see young people ignoring the warnings. They shut the Daspoort Tunnel between Claremont and Danville in Pretoria. Sadly it’s their parents and elderly caregivers that will feel the brunt of virus when they bring it home 🥲 pic.twitter.com/1oOHHAWRZW
— Peter Ndoro (@peterndoro) December 21, 2020
— 🌍Mr Mmola (@Thabs_Mmola) December 21, 2020
Yoh Mabopane high way kedi roadblock party! This is unacceptable 😒 😡 pic.twitter.com/93RAIGZE7v
— Africa Youth Empowerment (@AfricaYouthEmp) December 21, 2020
On Tuesday, Mbalula said law enforcement officials would intensify their visibility on roads and in hotspot areas to ensure people adhere to Covid-19 and road safety regulations. “We have seen videos in circulation of revellers gathering and partying alongside our roads with scant regard for Covid-19 regulations or health protocols.
“We were equally appalled by video clips of disgraceful behaviour by young people in what is referred to as a Dinho convoy along the R80 Mabopane highway into the Daspoort tunnel. They were partying, drinking and blocking the road in large numbers,” said Mbalula.
Mbalula said such acts were unacceptable and would end in tears. “This conduct is unacceptable. Our law enforcement authorities will show no mercy towards people who turn our roads into party spots and disregard the rules of the road or Covid-19 regulations.”
He suggested that law enforcement authorities may use rubber bullets, if needed, to disperse unruly motorists.
“The Mickey Mouse reckless behaviour we have seen in Mabopane … where people were dancing on the road … is not going to be allowed next time. That party is going to be the last,” said Mbalula. “There’s going to be a confrontation with law enforcement. Kuzonuka irubber bullets (rubber bullets will fly).”