Man locks up drunk cop

2013-01-16 15:34

Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal man arrested an allegedly drunk police officer and locked him up in the back of his police van after watching him drive recklessly through the streets of Pietermaritzburg.

Russell George, of Prestbury, said he was coming down Stott Street and about to enter Mayor’s Walk at about 20:00 on Sunday when he noticed a police van driving fast and recklessly.

“He was driving towards oncoming traffic as he turned into Victoria Road.


“At this point I was concerned about the safety of other road users,” self-employed George told The Witness.

“He suddenly jammed on his brakes and came to a complete stop.

“I got out of my car and went towards him and I asked him if he knew what he was doing. He started his car and carried on driving,” he said.

Continuing to drive recklessly, the policeman turned into Logan Road and came to a stop at the Howard Road intersection.

George decided it would be best to call 10111. He was told the police would be there shortly.

“After five minutes, no one had arrived. So I jumped out of my car and I approached the driver’s side and asked him to come out. He looked at me and I could smell that he had been drinking.

“I asked him again, and he refused.

“I then grabbed his keys, pulled him out and locked him in the back of his own van,” George said.

He added that the police van was badly damaged, as if it had been involved in an accident.

Birthday celebrations

Khanyi Mnikathi, a witness who lives on Howard Road, also said the policeman was drunk when he was pulled out of the vehicle.

She said: “He was quite sloshed. He was weak enough for him to be pulled out and into the back of the van.

“When he was put into the back [of the van], he started crying.”

She said the police officers who arrived there “were quite embarrassed”.

“It was ironic because it was a citizen who put him in the back of his own van,” she said.

Mnikathi said that when her mother approached the officer to ask him what happened, he said he had been celebrating his birthday and that all his friends had bought him a bottle of alcohol. “He did not deny that he was drunk,” she said.

Another witness, who gave his name as Sbu, agreed that the officer was very drunk.

The policeman was taken to Loop Street police station.

It was alleged that police had recently been called to a nightclub in the city where the officer had held up his girlfriend at gunpoint.

George said that while he was giving his statement, “two men came into the station to report that a police van had crashed into [their vehicle] and fled”.


Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan confirmed that the policeman had been taken into custody.

“He will be charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol,” she said.

“While he was in custody, we received a report that he had been involved in a collision in Prestbury.

“He is also going to be investigated for reckless and negligent driving,” said Jeevan.

She added that police were aware of an incident “where there was a problem with his girlfriend”.

She said an investigation into an assault was pending and that the officer’s firearm had been taken away.

Zweli Mnisi, spokesperson for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, said justice should prevail and that the investigation should take place without prejudice.

  • brent.bartis - 2013-01-16 15:41

    ooo eina

      gert_swart - 2013-01-18 10:43

      @ Russel George You are the man!!!

      dmitri.dumas.9 - 2013-01-18 13:09

      Give the man a bells..... NOT the cop :)

      erika.bezuidenhout.102 - 2013-01-18 13:20

      Two thumbs up for this citizen, our country needs people like him. This is an absolute disgrace, cops being arrested by citizens, cops buying diamonds etc... It looks like the citizens must now look after the cops that is suppose to protect and serve. What a joke.

  • tantiana.panda - 2013-01-16 15:42

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hilarious!!!! Russell you are my hero, wish there were many more brave men in this country ... with such awesome morals !!! High five dude!!!

  • williamjoseph.roberts - 2013-01-16 15:43

    Brother you did a sterling public duty but watch your back.

  • beverly.young3 - 2013-01-16 15:43

    Amazing how they protect their of us? Into the tronk, everything suspended and fired ........

  • karabo.legodi.54 - 2013-01-16 15:46

    Well done Russell George, who knows how many lives you have saved that night? Including the policeman's life! (LOLest)

  • angelanair3 - 2013-01-16 15:48

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I fell off my chair - I cannot get up - pc on the ground with me ha ha. I never laughed so much - well done George! Is this a citizens arrest? George for Police Commisioner - at least he noticed what the real cops cant - what a drunk looks like...........

  • jose.d.santos.9041 - 2013-01-16 15:49

    Russell, you lucky that he didnt use his service pistol on you!

  • Notrax123 - 2013-01-16 15:49

    I actually feel a bit sorry for the poor sod, woman problems, feeling sorry for himself on his b'day, getting sloshed. If he had been drinking with friends why did they let him drive? One has to question if he was getting support from SAPS for his personal problems.

      Erna - 2013-01-16 16:14


      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-01-17 07:24

      @Notrax123 - feel sorry for you

      Notrax123 - 2013-01-17 13:39

      Yoh, So many whiners who like to whine about anything "bad", yet show no empathy. What happens when their bubble pops??

      IAmTheDarkPrince - 2013-01-18 10:46

      Lots of children trying to look like they're grown-ups comment here. They love to revel in the misery of others but when the misery is their own then it has to be taken as a serious matter. The most beautiful irony must lie in the fact that probably most, if not all of them must have experienced some drunken woes at some stage of their lives, yet they remain incredibly ignorant of the hypocrisy underlying their condemnations.

  • nigel.olifaunt - 2013-01-16 15:50

    This is the SAPD we must trust and honor?

      stan.luthuli - 2013-01-16 16:06

      there ARE good officers you idiot!!!

      sarah.hosford.35 - 2013-01-23 15:37

      Andries Tatane. A husband, father, school teacher. Savagely beaten and mindlessly murdered by police officers, on live television. Those involved didn't get so much as a slap on the wrist. We need to weed out this scum, out of our police force, whom up until the afore-mentioned, I have had the greatest respect for. Pay them more ! Stop splurging millions of our tax money on your bathroom fixtures and give our officers proper salaries & benefits in line with the hours they put in and the associated risk. More pay, less corruption. Corruption, bribery, and abuse of human rights should be treated as treason amongst public servants, lead by example ?

  • roscoe.louw - 2013-01-16 15:51

    So being drunk driving a state owned patrol car can be blamed on the GirlFriend. So going to use that at the next roadblock. but high five to arresting a police officer, we need to now just also speed trap traffic cops :-) JUSTICE i call this now, we taking our street back!

  • msika.bopha.9 - 2013-01-16 15:54

    Lol!!! Only in SA. You got to love our beautiful country.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2013-01-16 15:56

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, gasp, bwahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • cameron.macfarlane.12 - 2013-01-16 15:59

    That picture is just hilarious! Well done Russell!

  • Hasani P - 2013-01-16 16:01

    Wow, he did even offer a bribe george.M sure he tried kwaaaaa!!

  • prakash.singh.169 - 2013-01-16 16:02

    Nothing will happen to him. The dockets will get lost. He will be back at his job, drinking and driving whilst on duty. It is the ANC corrupt government that one must be a convicted criminal or fraudster to be in a job.

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2013-01-16 16:02

    Although Russell did the correct thing, it was still very risky. These guys are often trigger-happy, and being drunk means that he could very easily have acted irrationally towards Russell, and then cook up some sort of after-story.

      Erna - 2013-01-16 16:12

      Well I commend Russell. If we had more citizens like him SA would be a better place.

  • eland.snitbul - 2013-01-16 16:02

    Haha well done!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2013-01-16 16:03

    Throw the book at the drunken excuse of a cop.

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2013-01-16 16:08

    No doubt the policeman will BEE promoted soon...

      tshepo.lekote - 2013-01-16 17:37

      Cheap shot, ur such a bore......

      prakash.singh.169 - 2013-01-16 21:21

      Next commissioner of police.

      sarah.hosford.35 - 2013-01-23 15:51

      Better not complain, when all he get's for his b-day next year is a pair of socks

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-16 16:09

    Wow! This is something to be celebrated. The police officer probably had a bad birthday, but it's no excuse for behaving the way he did. Were it a normal citizen, they would have been thrown in jail right away. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Well done George for spotting the risk and taking care of it.

  • Erna - 2013-01-16 16:09

    That puts an end (hopefully) to a career in the SAPS. Surely he cannot be allowed to be a cop?

      prakash.singh.169 - 2013-01-16 21:21

      No ways. He will be promoted to commissioner of police.

  • Thembane.wa.Mahlaza - 2013-01-16 16:11

    am just a bit colour blind

  • melissa.mahlangu - 2013-01-16 16:13


  • melissa.mahlangu - 2013-01-16 16:15

    I think he should be just fired they should be leading by example stress or no stress they is no excuse for driving drunk and recklessly

  • Khoisan74 - 2013-01-16 16:20

    I am afraid Russel may not live long. These corrupt officers may hunt him down and kill him. He must quickly relocate.

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-16 16:21

    Am I understanding this correctly... The drunk cop was involved in a collision earlier, drove off after this 'accident' and was later 'arrested' by a concerned citizen, yet he's only being charged with DUI? What happens when one is involved in an accident and drives off ? Isn't that also illegal? N24, follow this story till the end. This guy is going to get away from this Scott free.. ! Mark my words.. *McBride* ring any bells ?

  • atta.asare - 2013-01-16 16:25

    Russell George.... U a legend!! hahahahahahaha

  • cristina.d.walters - 2013-01-16 16:32

    thank you Russel George for stopping that cop from causing more 'damage' - you Legend!

  • greg.meyer.543 - 2013-01-16 16:33

    That civilian is lucky he never got a gun pulled on him. Cops are never wrong, if you ever tried to reprimand a cop, you'll know what i mean. I wish citizens could arrest/fine police. I often see them breaking the law.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2013-01-16 16:34

    Fire the cop, and give Russel a bells, and thanks for the good laugh.

  • riaan.w.vanwyk - 2013-01-16 16:36

    Vat so polisieman!!

  • chris.booise - 2013-01-16 16:39

    How awesome is this!! And funny I must say LOL!!!

  • craig.s.pepper - 2013-01-16 16:40

    Give that man a Bells!!!

      george.frangs - 2013-01-17 09:00

      I think thats maybe what started this mess in the first place...

  • faith.leburu - 2013-01-16 16:43


  • cecil.currie - 2013-01-16 16:44

    Msika, you have it spot on. I love this country warts and all

  • Bob - 2013-01-16 16:47

    Mr George needs to offer classes to motorists. The 'lock up the cop' manouvre could come in handy when one gets stopped at a road block.

  • anaska - 2013-01-16 16:57

    This man should be suspended with immediate affect. He is not the only one on the force that does this - IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE THE PRESSURE DO NOT JOIN!! Well done to Russel George - hopefully this individual will not hve revenge in that boozed up mind??

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2013-01-16 16:58

    This can only happen in south africa, really I have'nt had a good laugh for a long long time. Good citizens arrest maybe they should pay this hero for a job well done.

  • mzuvukile.maswana - 2013-01-16 17:00

    Mr Russell George that was risky cause you could have been shot by this cop and then claim that it was an attempted hijack. You really deserve an award for what you did.

  • - 2013-01-16 17:04

    Verry funny and lucky, u saved the life s cop and others

  • vernon.meakin - 2013-01-16 17:07

    my hero ,your the Man.

  • simon.selahla - 2013-01-16 17:08

    Oh!!! Another idiot diminishing the nobility of Saps, George I salute you for preserving innocent lives!

  • settie.zuweni - 2013-01-16 17:16

    I have no words! Mzansi!

  • johan.vanheerden.737 - 2013-01-16 17:18

    Mooi man!

  • muke.matshaba - 2013-01-16 17:36

    Make that man a cop,he is a HERO

  • Sige Gorabeb - 2013-01-16 17:46

    We need more Russel Georges to make RSA a better place. A Bells for you buddy!!

  • robin.harriram - 2013-01-16 17:57

    Please everyone, dont try to imitate Russell. He is a hero all right. Someone else might not be so lucky if the policeman managed to get to his "like" friends in time.

  • likoena.makae - 2013-01-16 17:59

    Law enforcement must be urtilised as the same as to others

  • ako.gutshwa.7 - 2013-01-16 18:07

    Wow! I must say this guy is very brave I wasn't gonna approach the drunk cop,what if he shot him. I applaud what he did but he needs to be careful next time he deserves four fingers of Bells on rocks

  • tim.mthimkhulu - 2013-01-16 18:15

    Russell deserves to be a cop himself, hire him please but make sure he does not get corrupt.