Cop not guilty of taking R100 bribe

2012-01-13 21:00

Johannesburg - The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Friday found a traffic officer not guilty of accepting a bribe during a roadblock.

Traffic officer Angelo Sampson, 38, of the Parow, Cape Town, traffic department, appeared before magistrate Amrith Chabilall, who launched a scathing attack on the roadblock system that allowed each member of the "team" to do as they pleased.

Chabilall said the City of Cape Town, and all other entities involved in roadblocks, needed to ensure that systems and procedures were in place to ensure motorists were treated fairly and honestly.

The magistrate said senior traffic officer Marius Visser, who was in charge of the roadblock in question, had failed dismally in his duties that night.

Chabilall said the roadblocks set up by the Parow traffic department only put pressure on people and ripped them off.

"This court urges the traffic authorities to take note of the court's recommendations, to have procedures in place to protect the rights of all right-minded people."

Chabilall said it was important for the court to determine the truth, but in this case the court thought the truth had not been told.

Prosecutor Ezmerelda Johnson alleged that taxi driver Luvuyo Bonani, after his arrest at the late-night roadblock in February last year, asked Sampson what was to happen to him.

Sampson allegedly replied that an amount of R250 would secure Bonani's release, but Bonani only had R100 on him, which Sampson allegedly accepted.

Sampson denied this, and told the court there was no control at the roadblocks, and that each member of the team did his own thing.

Chabilall said the back door of the patrol van at the scene could only be locked by using handcuffs, but on the night no member of the team had handcuffs.

The door was not locked after Bonani was placed in the van.

Chabilall said Bonani's keys were confiscated, and placed on a table in a traffic department bus at the scene. He said Visser, as the officer in command of the roadblock, was seated in the bus, but failed to see anyone remove Bonani's keys and return them to him.

"Visser was in charge of the entire operation. He conceded in court that what happened that night was his responsibility, and that he should have had a system in place to ensure that things confiscated from drivers were under proper control," said Chabilall.

"He failed to do so, and the court got the impression that the only reason for his presence was to make up numbers."

Chabilall said the driver of the patrol van had been in control of those under arrest in the back of the vehicle, but even he had not noticed Bonani getting out and driving off in his taxi.

  • marius.avenant - 2012-01-13 21:14

    Just when we think they have hit the bottom as far as incompetence is concerned, somebody turns up with a big mechanical shovel and the "system" strives to reach new lows.

      jacques.koorts - 2012-01-13 21:19


  • Cracker - 2012-01-13 21:25

    The technology is available and the experts can easily determine how a permanent record in the form of audio and visual material can be obtained and used later not only to prove the guilt or innocence of ordinary citizens but also to protect the state's agents against false accusations by the public. Not even to mention the value of the material in court cases in which confessions/admissions can so easily be manipulated/fabricated and used against the helpless. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE AUTHORITIES? Amend legislation NOW and ensure a far greater trust and support for the legal system and the law enforcers. The magistrate in the present case is with the greatest of respect not entirely on the mark with his criticism of an individual in circumstances not explicitly legislated for. But he should be thanked and commended for pointing out the short-comings. Get the legislation in place and get it over with. This is supposed to be a democracy with fairness and decency from ALL state/semi-state sponsored conductors. You should not be allowed to work with the public or even your colleagues in an official capacity without a proper and permanent record for the rest of the country to see. Go so far as to install it even in traffic offices so the blatant laziness and discourteous conduct of the officials can be recorded for all to observe. Also by the trade unions to see how disgusting their members can be.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-01-13 22:35

      Cracker, please write a blog about your ideas on N24 - your are on the money.

      Cracker - 2012-01-13 22:54

      @ Tania... Really appreciate your comment. Will however continue as per present habit in the hope that some who take our freedoms and democracy seriously might just see some value in my suggestions. They will not read blogs by individuals.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-01-14 02:08

      They will, and they do. Where do you think a lot of their good ideas come from? The great pity is that a lot of peeps take advantage when they tender for government contracts - therein lies the rub.

  • Lilitha Mjarus Potye - 2012-01-13 21:56

    yeah this country of oursz, arresting the innocent and doing nothing 'bout reall crime

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-01-13 22:37

      I disagree, ms Potje. There are no innocents in SA - unless they are younger than 12. Even that is debatable.

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-01-13 23:35

    Guys it's official R100 bribes is legal! Only in SA

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-01-14 00:56

    Wtf! Not even surprised! Lekker new south africa!

  • Varena - 2012-01-18 18:36

    I turn to have more questions on this article. Who reported the crime?, to me Bonani got away with the crime so as I know taxi drivers he is not the one. What kind of crime had Bonani commit? If Bonani reported the crime then he should have refused to pay a bribe or have details of the questions asked by the magistrate. Only God knows on this one.

  • pages:
  • 1