A policeman has been arrested for shooting at a tyre of a motorist who failed to move into the slower lane of the N3 near Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, causing an accident that left eight people injured.

Police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe confirmed that the officer was charged with attempted murder, and that he was part of the VIP protection team tasked with protecting KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) social welfare MEC Meshack Radebe.

She could not immediately provide further details, but Sapa has learnt that the policeman, who is believed to have been a passenger in the black Volkswagen (VW) Golf with dark tinted windows and flashing blue lights held the rank of constable.

Earlier, Superintendent Henry Budhram told Sapa that a black Mazda that was heading towards Durban on Saturday morning was being followed by a police collision unit vehicle when a black VW Golf with flashing blue lights sped up behind them.

The police vehicle pulled over to allow the Golf to pass, but “at that moment the driver of the Mazda could not pull over as he was passing a truck.”

It is alleged that when the Mazda had passed the truck and pulled over, a passenger in the Golf, which had dark tinted windows, wound down the window and shot the tyre of the Mazda.

“The driver of the Mazda lost control and his vehicle went into the oncoming traffic, colliding with a bakkie in the north-bound lane,” Budhram said.

He said that the Golf then sped off and when the police’s collision unit vehicle could not catch up with it, the officers decided to render assistance to the injured.

Netcare 911 and ER24 reported that eight people were injured in the accident, four of whom were described as being in a serious condition.