WATCH | 'Medical condition and not drunk' — SAPS after cop found passed out in van
Mpumalanga police have denied allegations that a police officer, seemingly passed out behind the wheel of a state vehicle at the weekend, was drunk.
A video of the incident has been widely shared on social media.
Police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi confirmed that the incident happened in Standerton in the early hours of February 20.
The officer was on duty driving the state-owned vehicle when he had a “medical attack” which was “unknown to him and he has never suffered from it before”, Hlathi said.
This resulted in him colliding with a brick wall of a private property.
He said the doors of the vehicle were locked with the officer inside.
According to Hlathi, the officer was left motionless behind the wheel without anyone coming to his rescue.
He was finally assisted by other police officers who were called to the scene, he said.
“These members then used another key to open the door for him and then realised that he was unconscious. They immediately took the officer to hospital for medical treatment.
“The management refutes all material misperceptions that the police officer was drunk or under the influence of any intoxicating substance.
“The medical evidence at police management's disposal has revealed that the officer has a certain medical condition which cannot be disclosed to the public. That medical condition temporarily subjected him to a state of automatism,” Hlathi said.
The officer was receiving support from the employee health and wellness department.
“The service is being given to him so that he can fully return to a normal state of health, mind and strength.”