Kgomotso Matsunyane

Is that absolutely necessary?

2008-03-06 08:46

Kgomotso Matsunyane

It's 23:30 on a Friday night I'm incensed!

There was a massive roadblock on both sides of the M2, and I was travelling towards the N3. Four lanes of cars were moving at a snail's pace, which is very unusual for this time of the night. Two kilometres later, which took a total of 30 minutes to navigate, my car was pulled over by the Metro Police.

They were out in full force with about 20 cars, and dozens of policemen and women were stopping each and every car. It's always good to see our men and women in blue and orange taking charge of this whole crime thing, I thought to myself. I spot the cops with two video cameras and my heart sinks a bit as I realise it's probably just a publicity stunt. In any case, it's better than nothing.

By the time I get to the front I'm relieved.

Ins and outs

Me: "What's up officer?" Him: "It's a roadblock. Please can I have your licence?" I produce the card. The officer's female companion asks to search me, so I get out of the car and put my arms up by my sides.

First she "searches" the chest, and then her hands moved to my breasts. Big alarm bell rings, but I let the sister do her "job". Her hands go down to my waist, and then swiftly to my vagina, inner and outer thighs! I wish I could tell you that it was just a perfunctory movement, but let me tell you, the sister was really searching.

Me: "Is that absolutely necessary?" Her: "You'd be surprised what people hide down there." Me: "I think that's a bit much, don't you?" Him: "Thank you, here's your licence."

I drive home in absolute fury. If I had a cat I would have probably kicked it, hard, instead I just spew expletives as I'm recounting the story to my shocked mother.

What about the car?

So, the cops didn't physically check my car, which could (but didn't) have a cache of weapons or all manner of contraband, but they were very ready and too eager to touch my privates searching for god knows what. There is something profoundly wrong with this picture.

It does not matter one bit that it was a woman who "searched" me, I felt thoroughly, unreservedly, unquestionably, physically violated.

A phone call to my brother's friend who is a Chief Superintendent reveals that the cops actually had no right to physically search me in a roadblock, period. I did nothing but follow the Metro Cops instructions, and I was rewarded with feelings of loathing and a serious need to take a shower.

There is real crime in this country, and there is nothing wrong with the cops coming out in full force to protect us, even if it is from ourselves. It pains me that R20 can get you off almost any traffic violation, such is the extent of the rot in the Metro Police department, and such is the level of corruption amongst hypocritical private citizens who see bribery as an acceptable way of life. Whether its R20 or R200 000, corruption is corruption.

I know some first-class cops out there, and there are plenty of them who do their work with honour and integrity.

It's the rest of the bad apples I can't deal with.

Send your comments to Kgomotso.

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