One in four Joburg drivers asked for bribe

2012-04-23 14:33

Johannesburg - One in four Johannesburg drivers paid a bribe to traffic police in 2010, Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said on Monday.

"[The report along with other surveys] show that one in four road users in Johannesburg has paid a bribe," he told reporters in Johannesburg, referring to a Statistics SA survey in 2010.

This amounted to about 150 000 drivers. He explained that no new survey had been done, but he believed the trend had been climbing since 2010.

"Bribery is a serious crime."

Lewis was speaking at the release of a report on corruption within the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), called "The Law for Sale".

Key findings include the scale of the problem and that authorities fail to recognise it.


"[The report] criticises the JMPD for being in denial about the extent of corruption within its force. The sheer scale of the problem is massive."

The report formed part of a nationwide anti-bribery campaign, or "no more tjo-tjo" campaign, which was also announced on Monday.

The report was one of several planned by Corruption Watch to highlight corruption hotspots in the country. Lewis said JMPD statistics showed only 184 cases of corruption were reported over the last three years, from 2009 to 2011. Out of these, 37 officers were found guilty and 19 dismissed.

Corruption Watch's recommendations to the JMPD and the City of Johannesburg were to take responsibility and address corruption.

JMPD officers should at all times wear visible identification and they must be able to report corruption with confidentiality.

Not a victimless offence

Field integrity tests should be used to gather evidence against corrupt officers for disciplinary measures.

Lewis emphasised that bribery was not a victimless offence. Drunk drivers or motorists with defective vehicles were left to drive on the roads after paying a bribe.

"We often hear the excuse that the public is responsible for offering bribes to traffic officers. But we look up to law enforcement officers to be accountable and exemplary in their behaviour," Lewis said.

"The public would be very reluctant to offer a bribe if they knew that traffic officers always upheld the law."

Corruption Watch was started by the Congress of SA Trade Unions in January to hold public and private sector officials accountable.

Have you been asked for a bribe? Share your story with us.

  • Brett - 2012-04-23 14:39

    Install cameras in the front of each police vehicle and police officers must be ordered to interact with the person being pulled over in view of the camera only. Like it is done in America.

      Gigo - 2012-04-23 14:41

      Ok but I don't like it when people compare Africa with America,we don't need to be copycats,let's come up with our own ideas.

      Brett - 2012-04-23 14:45

      @Sganja its known as benchmarking. If we were left to come up with our own ideas, you wouldn't have a computer or internet to post your comments...

      Gigo - 2012-04-23 14:48

      Yes but that one we reject it.As for computers and Internet is a irrelevant to what we are talking about.

      Brett - 2012-04-23 14:54

      I give up.

      Thoka - 2012-04-23 15:04

      @Sganja. We had our own computers and internet but it failed to be recognised by the world. It still exist in LIMPOPO my home town.

      Freddie - 2012-04-23 15:09

      Sganja, whether it is done in America or not is immaterial. The point is it is a good idea and is needed to control the current corrupt public service we are saddled with. Don't let your personal prejudices get in the way of open objectivity.

      Foc - 2012-04-23 15:11

      The ONLY way to sort this out is to out BOTH the receiver AND giver of the bribe in jail!! To discipline suspend and even dismiss means NOTHING!! Get ghost officers in private cars and clothes and let them at random commit traffic offences and when they get asked for a bribe lock them up there and then. Use technology to make it undisputed

      Gigo - 2012-04-23 15:15

      Lol @ Thoka hope it will be implemented soon....That will be great.

      Marion - 2012-04-23 15:18

      @Brett - I have often wondered why we don't have dash mounted cameras in our vehicles. Although the guy who obviously tried to bribe us the other day was part of a roadside 'pull over' exercise so he wouldn't have been picked up by a camera (I don't think there was a police vehicle there at the time).

      BobM6389 - 2012-04-23 15:23

      Freddy just remember that you cant have a corrupt public service without a corrupt public. The two go hand in hand!

      Massey - 2012-04-23 15:44

      Sganja......really, is there something between your ears?? Brett is not comparing.

      Paul - 2012-04-23 16:31

      Who the hell are you, Sganja? And why are you using Fidel as a picture? Your comments are as his were in the 60's 70's 80's. Where did it get CUBA? Go there, it's mixture of Sandton and Soweto living in the 50's! Get off your computer and go dig a ditch!!!

  • Marion - 2012-04-23 14:40

    Two weeks ago stopped because my husband wasn't wearing a safety belt. Told the fine is R250 but you can pay R125. Told him "Can you please just write the ticket 'cos we're in a hurry to get these kids to the skatepark'. After two similar comments by us we were told to go.

      Gigo - 2012-04-23 14:43

      Your husband was wrong and I'm happy you didn't pay a bribe,well done.

      Stephen - 2012-04-23 14:50

      He probably couldn't write.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-23 15:15

      Same thing happened to me and was forced and intimidated to admit that I wasn't wearing my seatbelt and only did when I saw them. She wrote that my passenger at the back wasn't wearing one and mumbled something about aarto. My sister bluntly told her she was looking for a bribe and she threatened to arrest her.

      Marion - 2012-04-23 15:22

      @Sganja - I just gave an abbreviated version here. But you are right, my husband was in the wrong and I told the cop that. (He put the belt on as he stopped and cop told him that doesn't help!) @Zimbobwe - we are too subtle to tell them they are looking for a bribe. Just tell them over and over, like a broken record, 'I broke the law, so write the ticket'. They will either write it or they will let you go for a 'minor' offence.

      Gavin - 2012-04-23 15:31

      In my experiance as well, if you don't pay the bribe they don't bother writing the ticket

      adam - 2012-04-24 07:13

      I was stopped at a speed trap. The pig jumped from the bushes to stop me, and I pulled up about a hundred metres from him. First he gestured that I reverse, which I did not, until he just waved me on....too lazy and fat to walk over to the car.

      rob.tubbs.39 - 2012-08-01 17:54

      (a) - don't break the law (b) If (a) was implemented (b) would not be a option...

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-11-05 17:53

      @ Adam I was stopped by a very fat female cop on one of the on ramps to the motorway. I made her run at least 200 meters to my vehicle .She was fuming but stuck to her mission .Gave me a thousand words but no ticket.Good Chick I was impressed..

  • Stephen - 2012-04-23 14:44

    Why shouldn't they ask for bribes, how many in every 4 government officials are taking bribes? probably 5

  • Dennis - 2012-04-23 14:49

    And this is what we got from this corrupt ANC !!!

  • Preshen - 2012-04-23 14:50

    I am one of them

      Mike - 2012-04-23 17:01

      You don't have to come out of the closet here Preshen. This forum is about corrupt cops!

  • daashcroft - 2012-04-23 14:57

    Interesting take on this..... that means that a minimum of 1 in 4 Jhb drivers were CAUGHT doing something that they could be extorted for. What would be interesting would be to ask the questions "How many Jhb drivers were pulled over for an offense? And how many were subsequently asked for a bribe?" Obviously drivers who have done nothing wrong cannot be asked for a bribe.

      Heiku - 2012-04-23 15:30

      "Obviously drivers who have done nothing wrong cannot be asked for a bribe." - That is not correct.

      Rob - 2012-04-23 15:41

      daashcroft: You say obviously drivers who have done nothing wrong cannot be asked for a bribe. Really? And why not? And who is to say what exactly happened, especially if you are alone in the vehicle. Methinks that you are too niaive.

      daashcroft - 2012-04-23 17:29

      So what Heiku and criticallyhonest are saying is that the police are inventing a crime and then asking for a bribe to not do anything about it? There is an old saying that you cannot cheat an honest man. If the police are doing that, then that is a much bigger story than a few motorists paying bribes - MUCH bigger. If that is the case then the only thing for it is for every person to have their own in car camera to prove their innocence.

      Rob - 2012-04-23 18:34

      daashcroft: Whilst in my small circle there is only one discussed incidence of this happening, I am cynical enough to believe that between my one example and the clear cut cases wher an offence has definitely been commited there are many, many situations where it is not that clear. Again, I am cynical enough to expect that there are police out there who will take advantage of the grey areas.

  • James - 2012-04-23 14:58

    And how many people paid the bribes. Just as guilty as the cop

  • Stephen - 2012-04-23 15:10

    A traffic cop could be taking home more a month than an engineer, tax free, what a great incentive for our kids to study.

  • ReportMe - 2012-04-23 15:32

      Marion - 2012-04-23 15:37

      @Christian - roflmfao...

  • Irene - 2012-04-23 15:33

    Well at least 3 out of every 4 of us can hold our heads up high. I will NEVER pay a bribe, just as I will NEVER get an e-tag.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-04-23 15:37

    Fighting fire with fire. ANC stop your sneaky ways and we stop ours.

  • Had - 2012-04-23 15:47

    Come on News24 - the drivers are not ASKING for bribes, they are OFFERING the bribes to the JMPD things. Typos and grammatical errors happen, but here you are demonstrating really poor English language skills !

      Had - 2012-04-25 12:02

      Just to clarify that, if you had said "were" asked for bribe it would have made more sense, but as it stands above, the "drivers" are the subject of the verb "asked".

  • Letsoalo Malebogo Emmanuel - 2012-04-23 15:47

    we as member of public we are the one who promote corruption if we stop to give these poor cops bribery i think we be fighting against it “if they arrest officer they must also arrest the motorist because in corruption they is corruptor and corrupter

  • Ron - 2012-04-23 15:52

    ANC government, are you proud of what you've achieved in this country? You've set the trend for criminal behaviour!

  • Jason - 2012-04-23 16:00

    How on earth do they know this. How do you get a stat from illegal activity between two people that no one can prove. No doubt this happens but the stat is a thumb suck if not you would have 1 in every 4 drivers up on a corruption charge.

  • Jannie - 2012-04-23 16:14

    You dont say...

  • Gaby - 2012-04-23 17:27

    We were off to Cpt for Xmas and were pulled over in a roadblock opposite Sowetho. It was 23 December so everyone was clearly on their holiday trip and carrying cash. My husbands license had expired. He was asked for a "Xmas box contribution". My husband refused and asked for a ticket. He was told a ticket could not be issued and he would be taken in the back of the truck to Soweto police station. It would take about three hours before he would be back. Meanwhile other cops walked around blatantly showing their weapon. There must have been about 15 of them. Eventually we were sent on our way, without paying the bribe and without getting a ticket. Not ONE of those cops had a ticket book in his hand. NOT ONE!

  • Charnelle - 2012-04-23 18:02

    I can not respect a metro cop! Public services in this country comes at a price. Instead of feeling safe when you see a public service official, you clutch onto your wallet and prepare yourself for extortion. I got pulled over in a brand new Nissan Juke, to check that its road worthy, after showing my UK drivers licence ( I am a South-African), he threw my licence back at me and told me to go back to my country. It doesnt suprise me. Nothing in this country does.

  • CoronaSherona - 2012-04-23 19:38

    Bribery - it is a compulsory requirement to be part of politics and the police. Scum of the earth who sell their souls for money instead of doing their jobs with honour and integrity.

  • Aaron - 2012-04-23 20:08

    The terminology in this article is completely incorrect. When you are threatened by someone in a position of power for money, it is extortion, not bribery. As much as the main stream media may try to make it sound like it's the fault of Joburg's beleaguered drivers, everyone who's lived in Joburg for any period knows full well that there is a far greater proportion of thugs in the JMPD/EMPD/etc than in the general population.

  • Wayne - 2012-04-24 07:46

    What about launching sting operations? Hidden camera's, unmarked cars, marked notes etc. Seems as if we have a 1 in 4 chance of catching these guys. You'll have plenty of volunteers.

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2012-08-01 17:51

    This just contributes to the 'lawless' society that we live in. Every bribe you pay makes 'crime' more lucrative - 'broken window syndrome'...

  • samgaf - 2012-08-01 18:39

    the only reason they join the force is for the bribes,it is part of the contract as fringe benifits,which amount to more than their salary.

  • yvonne.joseph.1612 - 2012-09-20 09:37

    Why re invent the wheel. If it works adopt it

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2012-09-20 11:14

    I was stopped by two woman police officers. I had to get my handbag from the back of the car and once in my hand I was asked if I had money! I told her not for her. She said I should have more respect for the police, and I said I would when we had a proper police force who did their jobs without asking if I had money. She told me to go!!

  • jessica.main.501 - 2012-09-20 11:20

    just aware xmas in coming soon, there will be a lot of JMPD around , they will stop you for no reason just for their bouns.

  • liam.mclaughlin.73345 - 2012-09-20 11:33

    This what goes on in Zimbabwe, Zambia and and and same old same old !\r\nI knew a fellow who in Harare was stoppd four times in one day for lunch money ! Kid u not !

  • liam.mclaughlin.73345 - 2012-09-20 11:42

    Oh sorry forgot to also mention, then the next level after this will be, you broke the law ie u went over a solid white line, when u clearly did not! That's the next step in the decay process ! Sorry but that is how it works ! Seen it up north !

  • patricia.lee.9484 - 2012-11-06 09:39

    My beat friend has got a truck and traeler transporting bricks.His own bussnes.One day i went with him to help him,it was on a friday.On our way back from delivering a loud of bricks we were pulled off by the Metro police at the Walkerville robots.This cop had no name tag on,inspackted the truck and told my friend that the truck license had expierd ,my friend told yes,but he still had 21 days to renew it.The cop told him that he will pull the disk off,in order for that not to happen thy must talk,my friend told that the truck was his and that he was not working for a Boss,but for his family,and if he wants to pull the disk off he must do so because he does not have any money to give him.I think the cop felt ashamed and he let us go.PS.Moniror the Walkerville intersection on Fridays after noon on the old Vereeniging road.The Metro cops like to sjo sjo their.+- 4 cars are their at any given time.......That is why i moved to Saudi Arabia with my family.I love my country but it has become lawless.

  • TheSingingHorse - 2012-11-18 07:34

    Hey our Govt is corrupt. We are led by example. Any way our speed laws are ridiculous. 60 kmh on an triple lane main vein.??? I ask you. The cameras at the lowest point on the down slope.?? THe officers must also live.We are being ripped off in all spheres of life. Another national past time.

  • sesom - 2012-11-18 08:23


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