I'm good at my job, accused cop says
Johannesburg - A traffic officer accused of taking a R100 bribe from a minibus taxi driver at a roadblock told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday he was good at his job.
"I am the best on my team, I know I am," said Angelo Sampson, 38, an officer in the employ of the City of Cape Town.
Sampson, based at the Parow traffic department, allegedly accepted the bribe from taxi driver Luvuyo Bonani in February last year.
Prosecutor Ezmaralda Johnson alleges Bonani, after his arrest during the late-night roadblock, asked Sampson what would happen to him. Sampson then allegedly asked Bonani for R250 to release him, but Bonani only had R100, which Sampson accepted.
According to the charge sheet, Sampson then released Bonani from a locked patrol van and gave him back the keys to his taxi.
Questioned by defence counsel Lennit Max, Sampson denied the bribe and said he had been nowhere near the patrol van during the road block.
He recalled how a traffic officer that had arrested Bonani questioned who had released him from the patrol van without his consent, but no one knew.
Sampson told the court: "In the taxi culture, they don't expose one another, but stick together. The taxi drivers know me well, and fear me. I am good at my job."
Sampson said he regularly arrested drivers at the taxi ranks, without fear, and took them to court. He said that at roadblocks, all officers did as they pleased. "There is no control. No person is given any particular function at a roadblock."
Johnson asked Sampson if any of his colleagues were as good as himself in their work.
He replied: "No, they don't reach my level... I know my own personal capabilities. I go and get the people, and arrest the taxi owners and drivers. None of my colleagues do that."
Asked if the taxi drivers in the townships were his friends, he replied: "They know me, but I don't socialise with them."
He turned to magistrate Amrith Chabillal and said: "Like I am friends with you, your worship."
Judgment was expected on Friday.