Former president Kgalema Motlanthe cautions against misuse of blue lights
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has cautioned government officials not to use blue lights willy-nilly.
This, according to Motlanthe, is a bad reflection on public office bearers.
"The rule of law is very important and when we break rules of the road, it gives us a bad name because it says we are an elite who live by different rules," said Motlanthe.
SowetanLIVE reported that Motlanthe was speaking at Liliesleaf Farm in Sandton on Thursday to members of the Gauteng executive council who were attending an induction ceremony in a bid to strengthen and advise them on upholding ethics, constitutionalism and administrative law.
His warning follows several political parties and organisations, including the Justice Project South Africa, previously petitioning for the ban of blue lights for everyone except marked emergency and law-enforcement vehicles. They have stated that the misuse of blue lights, coupled with aggressive and reckless driving, has led to serious accidents involving civilians.
Motlanthe urged the MECs to stick to the Ten Commandments - the biblical principles relating to ethics and worship.
The former president, who acknowledged that his blue-light brigade breaks the rules of the road from time to time, said breaking the rules can be accepted only in cases of emergency.
"Christians always caution us to never live by the 11th commandment. The Ten Commandments are what you must utilise. If you ride in your car and it is written 'stop', you don't have to look around to see if there's a presence of law enforcers before you stop."
He said the country would be a better society if everyone followed their conscience and lived by the rules.
"These are things we must be mindful of and make sure that in our conduct and how we relate to society, we live up to their expectations," the former president said.
Motlanthe warned that such actions gave public office bearers a bad name and society would form their own opinions based on their irresponsible actions.
Turning to integrity of officials, the former statesman urged the officials to always be conscious of the burden and the responsibility they carried as public officials and as public representatives wherever they go.