Lead SALead SA

Naming and shaming drunk drivers - Still no response from Minister Radebe

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By John Robbie

Lead SA in the Western Cape has been running a very successful campaign, in conjunction with the authorities, naming and shaming drunk drivers. Where the names of drivers caught driving drunk are published in the newspaper. This has led to a reduction in the number of people driving drunk.

We thought it would be a good idea to extend this campaign nationally and Lead SA has been following up with the Justice Department to extend the naming and shaming of drunk drivers nationally. The authorities have been lobbied. They told us they thought it was a good idea. At the beginning of the year Justice Minister Jeff Radebe was on Redi’s show and promised he would introduce the name and shame campaign. Since then; nothing. You’ve heard the promos on our stations.

We’ve been trying to get Jeff Radebe on the radio to give us an update but there’s been a deathly silence. My producer Deryn Plutsick has put in numerous requests in the last few months to Mthunzi Mhaga, the Minister’s spokeperson, for an interview with Jeff Radebe:

  • On Monday 17 September, she SMSed a request for an interview for the Wednesday. He was unable to confirm.

  • The following day, Tues 18 September, she sent him an SMS reminder to get back to her …nothing. So she followed up with another SMS inviting the Minister for an interview on Thursday 20th September. The spokesperson was unable to confirm anything.

  • She followed up on Friday 5 October with an open invitation to Jeff Radebe for an interview on the name and shame issue on at any date that would be convenient with the minister. The response from the Minister’s spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga was as follows:

“Kindly note that is as much as we are committed to ensuring that the issue of drunk driving is aggressively addressed but we can’t do an in depth interview in such a short notice . The Minister has set up a team that is working tirelessly to develop a plan that will see how to address the issue. We hope to indulge you soon to unpack such plans.”

  • We gave them a few weeks and then on Wednesday 24 October producer Deryn again e-mailed and SMSed a request for an interview with the minister, he responded by asking for questions to be e-mailed. The producer responded immediately to say the question would be about the name and same campaign and what progress there had been. No response

  • A week later, on Thursday 1 November, again an e-mail request for an interview. No response

  • And last week Wednesday she left a voicemail message for him. No response.

I’d like to report back some good news to you that the name and shame campaign that was so eagerly embraced by Justice Minster Jeff Radebe, but I’m afraid it seems as there has been no movement on this despite the promises. What a shame.

Think how many lives could have been saved.

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