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Cyclist assaulted by diplomatic motorcade

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posted on May, 14 2013 @ 02:29 AM
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I present to you something that got me very upset this morning. This happened in the city where I live (also where the majority diplomats in South Africa live). And any road user in Pretoria will tell you that Diplomats (and politicians) believe they own the road and have right of way...

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The short: Apparently this diplomat's driver cut in front of the cyclist (after the car failed to stop at an intersection). The cyclist knocked on the car's wing mirror to show his disapproval. The driver then drove the cyclist off the road and this is what happened next:




Cyclist Hein van der Merwe explained to eNCA how a black Mercedes Benz failed to come to a halt at a stop on Roper Street in Pretoria on 8 May 2013, and proceeded to cut in front of him.

"In my attempt to get the driver's attention by cycling next to the driver’s side door/window repeatedly shouting and in a final attempt to get his attention, hitting down twice on his side wing mirror, the vehicle deliberately tried to run me over by swerving into me," he told eNCA.
...
As yet it is unclear who the diplomat is and to which country the diplomatic motorcade belongs.

Van der Merwe tried to open a case at the Brooklyn police station but was referred to the police headquarters as the case involved diplomatic police as well as foreign diplomats.

According to 2 Oceans Vibe, diplomats in the country enjoy diplomatic immunity, which shields them from criminal charges in their host country, although they could face internal charges or embassy disciplinary processes.
...
Source


I have several issues here:

1. Considering South Africa's history (and current cultural sensitivity): If the roles were reversed and it was white guys "assaulting" a black guy, they would have been locked up moments later and the key thrown away. I'm sorry to say (and I really don't want to make this a racial thing) but white South Africans are being victimized - or perhaps I should rather say - no-one cares about them anymore.

2. Another sad, sad thing about South Africans: They don't get involved. This happened on a busy street. Yet, the cyclist are left to fend for himself. The whole of South Africa is enraged about this incident, but where was the rage from onlookers while this was transpiring? Maybe this isn't limited to South Africans? Are society in general too afraid to get involved?

3. Cyclists. Around these parts a lot of cyclists are killed by cars; they (cyclists) are known to drive in groups, and all over the road. There is an arrogance around cyclists, and they "insist" on their right to use the road. And many of them think they have the right to cycle in the middle of the road with no regard for the string of cars they're holding up behind them. Perhaps they need to be this arrogant because other road-users have such little regard for them? Either way there seem to be a constant struggle between driver and cyclist.

4. Diplomats. Many folks - perhaps myself included - have developed a deep hate for these people. Simply because they do whatever they please. Why? Diplomatic immunity. Here a guy is man-handled by a bunch of gorillas in suits - in his own country. And he has no recourse? Seriously? I'm not all that clued up with diplomatic immunity but does it really cover a diplomat's security personnel as well? They obviously have no right to "assault" the cyclist, but apparently he has no right to report it either? Should diplomats have such freedom? Is it really okay to have a diplomat's security break the law without the fear of being held accountable?
edit on 14-5-2013 by Gemwolf because: Grammar




posted on May, 14 2013 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 

cyclists don't have it very good in most countries i'm afraid.

i've personally had a glass bottle thrown out a window at my head while riding. the guys were doing about 60, and i'm very lucky it missed. being run off the road is pretty common, though i just punch the side of the vehicle. obviously i never go biking unarmed.

so much for share the road. i'm glad that someone filmed this, even if the group didn't have the courage to act in the cyclist's defense. i hope justice is carried out, but i doubt it.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 04:04 AM
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Side note: Did you see the guy at the end that just comes into frame? He looks like he's ten feet tall.
But yeah... Wish I had diplomatic immunity. Totally using it for evil good.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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Once they set foot outside the vehicle ,shoot them.It may start an international incident but at least the dips would get the idea.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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It is like this everywhere. I was a bike messenger for a couple of years in San Francisco.

Don't know about SA but here cyclists are allowed full use of the lane, regardless of traffic.

Car drivers get all upset when cyclists don't follow the laws of the road, yet they don't give cyclists the right they are allowed by law.

Just because you are in a faster vehicle it doesn't mean you have the right to force slower vehicles to yield to you.

It's car drivers who are arrogant, not cyclists who have a right to not be hassled by cars on the road. If you want cyclists to follow the law then you have to also.

edit on 5/14/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by Bob Sholtz
i've personally had a glass bottle thrown out a window at my head while riding. the guys were doing about 60, and i'm very lucky it missed. being run off the road is pretty common, though i just punch the side of the vehicle. obviously i never go biking unarmed.


I've had a pint beer glass, and a full can of soda thrown at me. The can of soda just missed me and hit an electrical box on the sidewalk, it exploded. Would have knock my head off.

I had a bus try to run me off the road, one of the tram things on wheels. Gotten into fights with roid raged motorists. A messenger friend was ran over and killed by a truck driver, on purpose, during a ride to honour another messenger who was killed.


A bicycle messenger was killed last night after being run over by a big- rig truck in what might have been a case of road rage, San Francisco police said.


www.sfgate.com...

edit on 5/14/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
It is like this everywhere. I was a bike messenger for a couple of years in a major US city.

Don't know about SA but here cyclists are allowed full use of the lane, regardless of traffic.

Car drivers get all upset when cyclists don't follow the laws of the road, yet they don't give cyclists the right they are allowed by law.

Just because you are in a faster vehicle it doesn't mean you have the right to force slower vehicles to yield to you.

It's car drivers who are arrogant, not cyclists who have a right to not be hassled by cars on the road. If you want cyclists to follow the law then you have to also.



I dont know about that it seems to be cyclists that transform between cyclist (while they are taking up your lane) then pedestrian (while they block cars from right turns at intersection) then to cars (while they cut across 2 lanes to pull a left in the middle of an intersection)

Cyclists are the ones that seem to have an air of authority over the roads, cars should not be liable for their safety.

I don't understand why they are not told to stay on the side walks??? Why not a few bumps and bruises instead of dying on the road and putting the blame on motorists that never wanted to share in the first place.

We have a large cyclist community here in Vancouver B.C and they have openly waged war on motorists. Our mayor is a delusional fruitcake and lives outside of reality.

Cyclists!! why don't you pack the food you eat in the city in from the farms? Do you know how much gas and diesel it takes to let you live in a metropolis. Or maybe pack in the material used to build the homes you live in on your bike. Or here is a better one, how about you pitch in your fair share for using the road like motorists do. It may not be the same in the US but here in Canada cyclists get a completely free ride and a pat on the back for clogging streets that were paid for by motorists.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by FirstCasualty
I dont know about that it seems to be cyclists that transform between cyclist (while they are taking up your lane)


Did you not read my post?

Here's a clue, it's not your lane.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 

The story is also about diplomatic violations and why nothing is done isn't it?



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by cavtrooper7
 


I wasn't the first to talk about cyclists rights, I was replying to someone who did.

Do you have anything to offer to the thread, or do you just want to play mod today?



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:13 PM
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Diplomatic immunity is fairly important for a number of reasons but the largest one is that it is a protection for our people in other countries.

If we start charging guys here with crimes than it may invoke that country to hold our people responsible for something, whether trumped up or not. Now you have a possible international incident and its just a lot easier to give them immunity.

However, the fact that they have immunity does not let them off the hook. Any diplomat caught committing a crime more than likely will face charges in their home country. We also have the right to expel any diplomat but more often then not, the country of the diplomat will recall them and open an investigation.

Diplomats are being pulled all the time, and we pull ours also, usually for cases of some sort of sexual misconduct but the issues are dealt with, and usually quite severely. Diplomats are representatives of their nation and no nation wants to have their people committing crimes as it reflects poorly on them.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 02:50 AM
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If my husband was there,things would have turned out differently.He does'nt care much for the usually arrogant attitude of a lot of cyclists around here,but he cares even less for thugs who gang up on a single person like a pack of hyenas.He would most likely have been arrested for coming to the aid of the cyclist,but knowing him,would propably have welcomed that as a platform to speak out publicly against the thuggery that was happening here.It seems like diplomats have in general, a dangerous amount of leeway for unacceptable behavior-and it should be followed up on,whether they indeed do get prosecuted once back in their own country,for misconduct/crimes committed in a host country.With the amount of preferential treatment diplomats,and apparently their guards/aides have,i don't even know if it would have made a difference if the cyclist was black too.Had the skin colors been reversed though,it would propably have made international front-page news-it still might not have changed the cyclist's legal position regarding laying a charge,being these are diplomats involved.The untouchables.
edit on 15-5-2013 by Raxoxane because: typo



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 12:30 AM
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Not sure what led up to this confrontation... But from the looks of the car at least they didn't get a bicycle lock or brick through a light or window, forked or keyed along the entire side, or a side mirror knocked off. Cars still have the big advantages but depending on where your're at, not all cyclists are pushovers - diplomatic status or not.

Laws here tend to favor cyclists, but I tend not to mess with 'em anyways since I don't like the idea of having my car vandalized.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 01:02 AM
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Originally posted by ANOK
It is like this everywhere. I was a bike messenger for a couple of years in San Francisco.

Don't know about SA but here cyclists are allowed full use of the lane, regardless of traffic.

Car drivers get all upset when cyclists don't follow the laws of the road, yet they don't give cyclists the right they are allowed by law.

Just because you are in a faster vehicle it doesn't mean you have the right to force slower vehicles to yield to you.

It's car drivers who are arrogant, not cyclists who have a right to not be hassled by cars on the road. If you want cyclists to follow the law then you have to also.

edit on 5/14/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)


I disagree in some cases in California especially. I knew a semi truck driver hauling two trailers stuck behind cyclists on windy roads for miles. These guys are trying to haul goods that you buy and when don't have a safe way to past without causing a head on or hurting a cyclist they are stuck doing 20-25 mph indefinitely all because the bikes wont get out of the way. Imagine if it were you driving in that situation. That's BS. In those situations the cyclists could put away their rights for some ethical road sharing.
edit on 18-5-2013 by Dianec because: (no reason given)






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