Since April 2018, the VIP Protection Unit has been involved in 51 crashes, according to a response to a question in Parliament by Freedom Front Plus MP, Wouter Wessels.
The cumulative cost of these incidents was R651 263.22. There were two injuries but no loss of life.
According to police minister Bheki Cele, ‘The cause of the accidents are due to collisions and damages, caused by objects in the road.’
Seventeen incidents took place in Gauteng and nine in the Eastern Cape. Five took place in each of the North West, Western Cape, and Free State. Four occurred in Limpopo, while two each took place in KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape, and Mpumalanga.
In none of the incidents was a ‘VIP’ involved. The records did not specify whom the various details had been protecting when the incidents occurred.
The VIP Protection Unit – known colloquially as the ‘Blue Lights’ – have a somewhat mixed reputation. Numerous complaints have been made that they are high-handed and reckless towards motorists in the execution of their duties.