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Bribery SAPing us dry

05 June 2012, 08:05
I can recall a small period earlier in the year where the media dumped all their spotlights on the issue of police bribery. There was a huge campaign on Talk Radio 702, it was all over online news such as News24 and there was supposed to be a crackdown.

Those couple of weeks came and went and I haven't thought about the issue since... well until the last few days. In the space of three days, I know of one such incident and was personally involved in the second incident.

Now before some start pointing fingers at me for having to pay off our standup police force, let me explain the details: I was driving home around 2 in the morning in the Pretoria East area from a night out.

I was not under the influence as I was monitoring my alcohol consumption. I noticed two cop cars next to the road that had pulled off other motorists.

As I passed by, one of the cop cars pulled in behind me and flashed me to pull over. So I did immediately, pulled out my license and waiting for the cops to arrive at my window. The first thing he said to me was "Sjoh, I can smell the alcohol coming from your mouth" which was a lie. After explaining to him that this was bull, he told me that I needed to follow him into Mamelodi to get tested.

Obviously I started to panic inside as it was 2 in the morning, I had a beautiful, young woman in my passenger seat whom I needed to take home and I'm well aware of the dangers of going into the townships late at night. On top of that we have cops who murder, hijack and rape innocent citizens.

Knowing all this there was no way I was taking that chance, especially with a woman I was looking after, and I was forced to pay the SAPS whatever I had on me. I only realised afterwards that I should have taken details of the cops such as van registration and their badge numbers but I guess when those lights flaired up the panic was too overwhelming and knowing that the men stepping out of the van are most likely criminals it's hell of a scary moment.

Besides getting details as mentioned above, I'd like to know from readers with know-how, what are my rights and how should I have acted in this situation, prioritizing safety?
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