Ferrari car owner, City of Cape Town in damages spat after traffic cop drove car to impound

Bruwer Raats, Ferrari was driven by a city traffic official to the impound. Picture: Supplied

Bruwer Raats, Ferrari was driven by a city traffic official to the impound. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 22, 2023


Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has refuted claims that one of its traffic officials wanted to experience driving a Ferrari and had purposely impounded it, as claimed by the owner.

The City admitted that the officer had driven the vehicle to the impound after removing it from the possession of a mechanic.

The owner of the vehicle, Bruwer Raats, a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild and international award-winning winemaker, is seeking damages and compensation from the City to the tune of R160000.

The vehicle’s interior seating material had apparently been torn.

It is alleged that on October 1 the Ferrari California T, was at a car repair dealership at the V&A Waterfront; when the mechanic had taken it for a test drive, he was stopped by the officer and the vehicle was subsequently impounded.

The City admits that the Ferrari had been driven by one of its officers to the impound but said the vehicle was damaged prior to the day in question.

Raats told the Cape Argus yesterday that he had not been present at the time of the impounding but confirmed that it had been at the mechanic. “Please note I was abroad at the time of the incident and therefore have no comment.

“This was dealt with by Ferrari Cape Town at the time.”

Raats did not comment on the vehicle’s damage and compensation claims.

Bruwer Raats, Ferrari was driven by a city traffic official to the impound. Picture: Supplied

Maxine Bezuidenhout, spokesperson for Traffic Services, explained that a thorough check had been done on the vehicle by the officer who had recorded it and that it was standard procedure for it either to be driven or placed on a flatbed when being impounded.

“The allegations are false,” she said. “The traffic officer completed a vehicle checklist, took photos of all the angles of the vehicle, including a video as evidence of all the damages on the vehicle prior to the impounding and prior to leaving the Waterfront in the presence of the driver and the manager of the Ferrari franchise at the time.

“The alleged damage to the chassis/ front bumper and seat was recorded and reflected on the inventory list.

“The damage was already on the vehicle when the officer stopped the driver on Dock Road.

“All the damages as claimed, were recorded in the presence of the driver and franchise manager who refused to sign the vehicle checklist prior to our officer driving the vehicle.”

Bezuidenhout added that the duties of a traffic officer – as per the relevant legislation – allow him to drive any vehicle at any time.

“This case was no different,” Bezuidenhout added.

“Nowhere does it state that a vehicle must be towed when impounded, unless such a vehicle is in an unroadworthy condition.

“The City was notified and the Traffic Service submitted the evidence.”

Bezuidenhout explained the officer offered to let the mechanic or his manager drive the vehicle to the pound while being escorted, but they refused.

“The City’s Traffic Service applies the national legislation and by-laws with regards to road and vehicle transgressions equally,” she said.