Snap! Cop car used for camping trip

2012-01-15 17:00

Johannesburg - A holidaymaker was amazed to see a police vehicle arrive at a campsite, load some campers’ equipment, hook up a trailer and then drive off.

“It was our first day at Drakensville holiday resort in the Eastern Free State in late December, and when we arrived we noticed four boys lying and waiting on their mattresses at their camp site,” said the man, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Shortly afterwards a double-cab police vehicle arrived.

A policeman in uniform – and he must have been quite senior because he was wearing lots of stars and medals – got out. The trailer was hooked up, the mattresses loaded and, with the four boys on the back, they drove away.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes and decided I should take photos of the whole business,” he said.

“We always hear about the shortage of vehicles when we need the police.

“What if there had been a murder, and the police are driving campers around the place?”

Free State provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Billy Jones said the officer who was driving the vehicle had been identified and the matter is being investigated.

“If it is found that he broke the rules, steps will be taken against him.

“The policy is that government vehicles may only be used for official purposes, that is, operational or administrative support services.

"In cases where a member is on standby, he is allowed to go home in an official vehicle on the understanding that he is available to be called out to a crime scene at any time.”

Gareth Newham, head of the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, said the misuse of official vehicles is a problem worldwide, and not only the police have difficulties managing their fleet of vehicles.

“But the use of vehicle tracking systems allows the police to monitor their vehicles more easily these days,” he said.

  • danie.dewaal - 2012-01-15 17:54

    The only thing that amazes me about this story, is that the public are amazed at seeing something like this. The best is usually at school events which have to be attended by police. Just have a look how many 'police' parents use the police cars to come to such functions. Then they wonder why people like me distrust them so.

      Bert - 2012-01-15 20:49

      now you've upset 5 'police' parents! shame on you danie :)

      nasheenar - 2012-01-16 08:05

      Gross mis-use of tax payers funds, Governement vehicles should not be used for anything other than state business, not even to take home in case there is a crime scene that needs to be attended to. Surely the officer on duty would attend to the crime and not the one at home. I dont think South Africans care about the mis-use of state vehicles world wide. We care about the situation in our country.

      Newsreader - 2012-01-16 08:30

      Well at least he was not bullying his way through with blue lights flashing and shooting at cars that dont get out his way, unlike most of the retarded ANC officials who think they are untouchable! This story sucks because its like saying I saw a prison warden at checkers when he should be guarding prisoners.

      Mike - 2012-01-16 10:07

      So why are you removing comments from this topic NEWS24 are only certain views allowed to be aired? so much for freedom of speech!

      David - 2012-01-16 10:53

      Who do I call to get my caravan towed to a nice camping spot? At least it shouldn't get stolen at the 1 stop.

  • Ghayat - 2012-01-15 18:08

    I live close to 3 schools, I often see pupils being dropped off at school by I take it the fathers in metro cop cars. When my kids were school going I had to pay for a school bus.

      Mike - 2012-01-15 18:47

      and often their children are not even strapped in

      Last Outpost Of The British Empire - 2012-01-15 19:06

      Very common. The SAP, SAPS and the new improved reconditioned and reconfigured SAPF all do it.

      Melle - 2012-01-16 09:28

      When I was young in the early eighties we were in a lift club to school with the local station commander and we were picked up from school in a police van more than once, we were three kids in the front with a uniformed (and obviously on duty) policeman and not strapped in...

      Michael - 2012-01-16 09:57

      take pics, send them in, you can help stop this

  • Phill - 2012-01-15 18:26

    Is anybody surprised at this? They surely are coping from their master Mthetwa and seior master Zuma. Remember Mthetwa's hotel expenses because his room was not yet ready? And how much does the state spend to carry Zuma and his many children, wives and Guptas-and-Shaicks (a new word for politically connected individuals)?

      Allan Hsu - 2012-01-15 18:46

      Fiboy - 2012-01-16 09:55

      You're a bloody liar Phill...Mthethwa and Zuma have nothing to do with this. Cops having parking official vehicles in their yards, dropped off their kids at school and did whatever they liked long before the guys you're trying to blame became part of the government

      Clive - 2012-01-16 10:19

      @Fiboy, you are wrong: Zuma and Co have EVERYTHING to do with this. As so-called leaders, they are supposed to set the standards, but unfortunately they do not subscribe to any lofty standards and the rest simply follow. The fact that members of the old SAP might also have done this is irrelevant: the ANC promised us better but, instead, many things have got worse, such as education and health, to say nothing of corruption.

      dlawre30 - 2012-01-16 12:01

      @Fiboy - the other day I was walking through a shopping centre car park towards my car. Next thing a cop car comes speeding through the car park and almost runs me over. He4 then parks in the disabled bay, I shouted at him as he drove past me and he just laughed at me. I then went over to him and asked him what he thought he was doing, his answer? I was not speeding, this is the new SA viva ANC. This comes from a cop who is a public servant and should respect the people of the country. Sorry but I have given up on them now.

  • steve.dupreez - 2012-01-15 18:28

    Why am I not surprised by the thundering silence of the normaly vocal crow condemming such actions by blacks.See boys and girls - IT IS NOT ONLY BLACKS THAT ABUSE THE FACILITIES!!! Unless of course the picture was photoshoped and the black people replaced by whites - what do you think??

      Cracker - 2012-01-15 18:45

      @ steve.dupreez What do you think? I think you talk stront.

      Dawood - 2012-01-15 19:14

      take a bow.say it the way it is , steve.let the racist dogs bark - 2012-01-16 05:56

      Steve. they are trying to come up with a reason/way to blame this on the ANC. :)

      Ian - 2012-01-16 07:16


      Merven - 2012-01-16 07:26

      Clearly old Steve is a racist, colour didn't even came to my mind, don't know about you guys?

      bobby.mykonos - 2012-01-16 08:27

      @Steve It is sad that you feel the need to score points at the expense of harmony. All that happens when you feed the trolls is that you become one yourself. Hate the behaviour not the skin colour. Poor form from the SAPS Member.

      Karring - 2012-01-16 09:38

      Steve you are 100% correct that was exactly what i was thinking 10 out of 10 for you...

      Clive - 2012-01-16 11:29

      Surely colour is irrelevant here? We are talking about the state of the police force in general. Adjacent to where I live is a green zone, with signs prohibiting various activities, such as scrambling, quad biking, etc. A white couple took their kids in on quad bikes, and my neighbour remonstrated with them. The response: Ons is polisie, ons kan doen wat ons wil. Just this morning I travelled behind a police car with four uniformed occupants, not one of whom was buckled up. The point is that the SAPS sets a vey poor example in too many respects - just like its, and the country's, leaders.

      André - 2012-01-16 11:47

      @ Steve, I think the plain white Nissan Nivara has been photoshopped with SAPS stripes, decals, fleet no. and all. These people might be innocent holiday makers.. Show me the Registration plates? Please..

      Deon - 2012-01-16 12:05

      Andre - Probably not a fake photograph when the policeman was identified by the police.

  • Sylvia - 2012-01-15 18:35

    Why are we surprised at this? @ "The four boys on the back." I presume those youngsters weren't wearing seat belts on the back of the bakkie. What a great example our police set! ;(

      Leon - 2012-01-16 05:20

      then everybody is complaining they don't see the police and the next day bla bla bla everyone complains again sir the 2 robbers that was behind your tent left when they saw the police maybe you must phone the officer and thank him for patrolling the camp side

      Billy - 2012-01-16 08:45

      Sylvia - how the hell do you wear seat belts on the BACK of a bakkie?? Have some common sense.

      karen.glautier - 2012-01-16 09:40

      @Billy, I think Sylvia is trying to emphasise the fact that it is illegal to transport people on the back of an open bakkie.

      Clive - 2012-01-16 11:32

      Actually, Billy, it is very easy to have seat belts fitted on the back of a bakkie - it is done on the mines, for one.

  • Allan Hsu - 2012-01-15 18:43

      Irene - 2012-01-15 20:29

      Are you shy or can't you speak English?

      Billy - 2012-01-16 08:46

      More pertinently - who are the idiots giving him the thumbs up for saying nothing??!

      karen.glautier - 2012-01-16 09:41

      He's speechless! lol

      Michael - 2012-01-16 09:58

      Allan, you have the best attitude - NO COMMENT, and letting everyone know it.

  • Pixie86 - 2012-01-15 18:49

    the silence is deafening from those white naysayers who think only black cops misuse state vehicles! Aha! See, we're not so different after all!

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-15 19:20

      I dont like condoning racial stereotypes, but i find it strange that suddenly the whole story needs to be heard before jumping to conclusions, this by the people who in must cases are very quick to jump to conclusions

  • brett.scheepers - 2012-01-15 18:53

    This could have been cops deployed for Special Duties over the holidays.Don't always jump to a conclision.Police often stay at camp sites when deployed for a few days or weeks. Let's see what official story is.

      Sean - 2012-01-15 23:06

      Agree, we haven't heard both sides of the story yet. Don't you all think that you may just be jumping to conclusions before hearingnthe facts!? Why would a policeman openly use a police vehicle full of insignia to do something as scrupulous as you all think he/she/they have done? I would have felt safer having a police van parked next to my camping spot irrespective of whether I knew of the true motive of the situation. If the internal investigation finds this to have been an illegal occurance then justice should take its course and then I support that to its fullest, there is nothing worse than loosing faith in our judiciary system who are supposed to protect the general public! Let's first hear what comes from this investigation and let's keep pressure on this one to find out the truth! The public deserves it know how the taxpayer's money is being utilized! - 2012-01-16 06:00

      Yeah the KIDS in the photo look like policemen. ;-)

  • Robin - 2012-01-15 19:08

    Why am I not surprised??

  • George - 2012-01-15 19:11

    You people amaze me. How many of you use a company car to go on holiday. A pool car. One day we we want them to be better the other day we deny them to have normal benefits. I fail to see the problem with this. A parents kids went camping it so happended he is in the police. Now he has to drive home leave the police vehicle there use is own private car to pick them up. Dont be so petty please

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-15 19:38

      No George, its called a COMPANY CAR, and i have MY car to run errants, this happens too often i agree bt it doesnt make it right

      Mike - 2012-01-15 20:42

      please try and see the difference between company and goverment/civil money. You can not even allow it to happen once otherwise the entire Police force would want the same

      Ronald - 2012-01-15 21:02

      George, SAPS standing orders(SAPS rules) specifically forbids private use of any marked SAPS vehicle. The only vehicles that may be used for private use and registered to the SAPS are those that specifically get the use of vehicles as part of their package, and almost always an unmarked vehicle. The marked vehicles are for official duties only so as not to effect service delivery to the public. But then the theory is always markedly different from practice.

      esme.collins1 - 2012-01-15 23:05

      Well said George!! I suppose all these who comment, don't abuse computers, phones, etc. @ work. Are never late for work or who never take 'sick leave'. All dishonest actions amongst many others! He who lives in a glass house, should not throw stones!!!

      Merven - 2012-01-16 07:30

      George, there is already a shortage of police vehicles, and the government can not afford to service their vehicles. While somebody needs help on a farm or squatter camp these idiots drop of friends at dams etc.

      Merven - 2012-01-16 07:32

      @Esme, not having a police vehicle available can cost somebody his/her life, wake up!

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-16 08:00

      lmao, so Esme u reckon arriving to work late is abusing resourses? what if i leave work late to balance the hours, is my employer abusing me?

      Dave - 2012-01-16 09:12

      @ George, I agree, this also could have been an emergency and the guy did not have another vehicle at the time so used his police vehicle, why do people always jump to conclusions, lets wait and see the outcome, if guilty of miss use, then deal with it accordingly, if not, some people commenting here are going to feel like tools.

      dlawre30 - 2012-01-16 12:05

      Using tax payers money??????

  • Thandi - 2012-01-15 19:19

    So whats new - police vehicles being used for 'private' shopping excursions (with the kids), transporting kids to school, etc, etc, is commonplace - a few times I have wished I had a camera with me to capture it.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-15 19:46

      For decades

  • Vivian - 2012-01-15 19:30

    WOW this is amazing how cops use and abuse the funds, Im sure the tax payer also forked out for fuel and toll gates, name and shame this douch bag.

  • Boer - 2012-01-15 19:33

    Misuse of police veicles is NOT a problem worldwide. I call crap on the statement that it is a problem worldwide. It is only n problem in South-Africa. Thanks to the corrupt ANC leadership.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-15 19:42

      It has always been a problem in South Africa

      Ronald - 2012-01-15 21:11

      I beg to differ. China launched a huge campaign last year to curb vehicle misuse, most USA states as well as most countries in Europe were forced to create call centres to try and stop the abuse of government vehicles.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 19:35

    OK. This is how it works. Police vehicles are for use of police duties. All official vehicles are for official duties. Seems quite straight forward. If the above is not the case then we need a clear government policy statement to the effect. No use debating about the right or wrongs if we do not know by virtue of the right and wrong views of the powers in place how we should look at the issue. The policy will of course apply to all irrespective of race or creed. Local authorities will of course also be bound by the government's official position. I would love to be a traffic cop or police officer under the new dispensation of deciding how to share the law enforcement and holiday/private priorities. My trade union will take care of the unreasonable demands by the law enforcement side of things.

      Paul - 2012-01-15 20:22

      No sir there are Police regulations and standing orders that regulate the use of police vehicles. Without knowing the circumstances its impossible to judge from one photo.

      Cracker - 2012-01-15 22:00

      @ Paul I think you misunderstood my comment.

      Cracker - 2012-01-15 22:15

      @ Paul Give the details of the provisions or at least where they can be found. PRIVATE use of state vehicles is not allowed. But we should hear the full story and the potential excuses by the police tomorrow morning on 702 - as usual.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 19:40

    The other solution could of course be to ensure that for every member or law enforcement parasite there is provision for the usage of a private vehicle, of personal choice naturally, depending on the preferred type of holiday and daily private transport requirements, always of course changing with time and personal preference.

  • Paul - 2012-01-15 20:29

    And also as u say he was "wearing lots of stars and medals", he could be a senior officer (Colonel and above) and using his own, state subsidised vehicle.

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-15 20:36

      state subsidised vehicles are NOT marked because the car is yours

  • Jamie - 2012-01-15 20:31

    I fear, just a temporary slip-up in the Government regulations - forgot to introduce the law that no-one is allowed to photograph Government, Army, or Police, personnel. As is the case North of our borders. - 2012-01-16 10:53

      No problem that will be corrected soon :)

  • Bert - 2012-01-15 20:48

    What's all the fuss? I've seen them parked o/s schools, in gym car parks, shopping malls. Driving along highways and byways with six and seven civilians of all ages and sizes stacked in. I thought it was normal practice :)

  • Craig - 2012-01-15 21:37

    Who else noticed the Jnb Metro Police truck parked on Witkoppen near Cedar Rd today around 12pm? It was loaded to max with instant lawn, with additional stacks alongside. Could have been part of an operation against illegal lawn sellers but unfortunately history forces one to wonder.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 22:11

    The bottom line is that you do not use the facilities of others for your personal use. It matters not whether you think you are Hitler (white), Stalin (white) or Idi Amin (black). IS IT CLEAR TO THE APOLOGISTS WHO TRY TO FIND EXCUSES FOR WHAT IS CLEARLY ABUSE OF RESOURCES NOT MADE PROVISION FOR IN THE COUNTRY'S LAWS?

      fran.boucher - 2012-01-17 14:13

      CLEARLY ABUSE...BLAH, BLAH. How do you know? Did you ask them personaly? Tsk.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-15 22:45

    It is almost impossible to imagine that police vehicles with official police markings are made available for use by police officers for private use. Why bother to show that they are also for official duties? Are they used for official purposes and when the official goes home with vehicle it means the police are deprived of an officially marked vehicle until that specific uses of the vehicle returns to duty so the vehicle can once again be used? What about the petrol consumption? How is it accounted for? And the actual number of such vehicles? Are the sponsored and donated vehicles that we heard of also included in the private use culture? It must be something totally unique on this planet that marked police vehicles are freely disposed of for private use. Hopefully we will now be informed of the actual legal position as it applies according to the law in this country. The explanation should include naturally the exact nature of use, ranks entitled to the use, the necessity to mark the vehicles with official police markings and why some will be entitled to vehicles marked as such as opposed to others not so marked, and how the vehicles are accounted for as income assets. (Shakes head in disbelief and exasperation.)

  • Silvana - 2012-01-16 05:48

    Well done anonymous photographer! You're lucky you weren't caught. It's way passed the time that law enforcement uphold the law instead of breaking it. I have seen a Metro cop on Impala Road ignoring the fact that an oncoming vehicle overtook on a white line, because he (the cop) was taking his kids to school.

  • Johann - 2012-01-16 06:47

    It's his company car what do you expect his bosses are doing it so why not him.

  • Seja - 2012-01-16 07:19

    SO WHAT?? you can clearly see that vehicle is not made for transporting criminal suspects - there are other vehicles for that, the officer is a high ranked officer so you do not expect him to go around chasing criminals - he is a manager! - unless all you moaners are actually police officers you need to sit down and shut up!!

      Merven - 2012-01-16 07:36

      If he is not expected to chase criminals, why does he need the Police marked car then? Us tax payers pay for those cars, so we can comment on it.

      andre.badenhorst - 2012-01-16 10:07

      @Merven...comment on the government and corrupt officials and start a revolution to change society and it's views on the governence of this country!! Lot's of whiners commenting on this site...any cheese with your whine???!!!!

  • andre.badenhorst - 2012-01-16 07:21

    There are always people complaining and only seeing the "negative" issues relating to this. Give as much credit as you whine people and remember that you who complain so much are not without faults!!!!

      Merven - 2012-01-16 07:37

      We do give credit, a couple of people congratulated the photographer!

  • Pieter - 2012-01-16 07:35

    Please I am not making this a racial issue but..... If this happened in a township (which it always does) nothing would be said. But now this white "unhappy camper" messed it up for this police officer. Personnaly I would have left him.......

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-16 07:46

      lmao, i thnk i woulda concentrated on my business too, otherwise hs camery battery wnt see much life

      Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-16 07:50


      Pieter - 2012-01-16 10:30

      Probably all you whities that is disliking my coment

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2012-01-16 07:36

    If its common it does not mean it's legal. Corruption it's common but not officially legalised. What I like about S. Africans is that they can always associate actions with race before journalists can even reveal the race. If the car was reported to be found parked in a shebeen in Alexandra township then whites would condemn it and blacks condone it. Now the car was found in a camping site and automatically blacks are condemning the action while whites are condoning. In Kotze 's case many people were caught off side. Most bloggers here are so inconsistent with their comments. The common misuse of SAPS and other gorvenment vehicles does not make it legal.

  • Perfume - 2012-01-16 07:52

    I am not surprised at all, I see police vehicles being used as taxis on a daily basis.

  • Shaun - 2012-01-16 08:01

    Welcome to the Banana Republic! - Cheers

  • Roslyn - 2012-01-16 08:16


  • sean.meets - 2012-01-16 08:32

    Great! I've got a pic of a cop car, also a Nissan Hardbody, used to go fishing in Pennington. And I thought the department didn't have enough cars!!

  • Clem - 2012-01-16 08:37

    For those of you who are so quick to condemn, what if these boys were fetched by cops because their parents have been in an accident or been attacked and brutally murdered? Careful that it does not happen to you or your close family! - 2012-01-16 11:00

      yeah you are right, those kids look distraught................

  • Andre - 2012-01-16 09:11

    Let us reserve our judgement till the investigation is completed. It just might be that there is a valid reason. These guys work under tremendous pressure (sometimes) and it might have been justified. If not, grind them as hard as possible!!

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-16 09:14

    and people are surprised by this?

  • karen.glautier - 2012-01-16 09:38

    I live just off the main road where there is a police station, and they drive down the road and straight through all the stop streets. (There are about 4 of them)They don't even slow down. It's unbelievable.... and there's nothing you can do about it!

  • david.arundel - 2012-01-16 09:43

    @ Newsreader, you seem be missing the point. No one is complaining that the cops went camping the complaints are that the campers were picked up in a cop car. May i suggest you re-read the article SLOWLY and maybe you'll understand.

      Lufuno - 2012-01-16 09:54 doesn't matter whether he stayed at the camp site or not, the fact remains, he used a state vehicle which should have been in use for an emergency..I see police cars parked at our gym in Roodepoort every evening. A lady was hijacked at the Virgin active parking and no one could do anything because the cop was on treadmill..

  • david.arundel - 2012-01-16 09:45

    Using a company vehicle for private use makes the driver eligible to pay company car tax, maybe the tax man should investigate and nail the buggers for tax evasion as i doubt the driver will get into trouble from the cops for using the vehicle without permission

  • Lufuno - 2012-01-16 09:52

    I see atleast 2 to 3 police cars at our gym every evening. You must also rememeber, he's not using his own money for petrol.

  • gerhard.klinger - 2012-01-16 10:19

    and then they swich on their blue lights when they don't want to be stuck in traffice like the rst of us.

  • Gordon - 2012-01-16 10:25

    Non-issue for me. a good cop who loses most of his family life due to the stresses and strains of the job, uses a work bakkie to fetch his kids from a camping trip. Yes you can get bent out of shape over taxpayers money, but I would bet you that any one of us would do the same. He isn't running a taxi service or operating a business with the van, just nipping out to fetch his kids. Now if he was in slops and t-shirt and having a holiday with the van - then throw the book at him.

  • Gail - 2012-01-16 11:10

    You know these policemen may not have their own vehicles and hence are allowed to take them home. I live in a largely white middle class suburb and am surrounded by policemen and I know this because I see their vehicles parked. In this instance it appears that this guy used his bakkie to take kids to a camp site and left them there for a period and was simply picking them up. While I hear what you are saying about private use for these sort of purposes there are many politicians who also use their vehicles for private purposes and only want the most expensive models that chew petrol. How can one expect the other civil servants to do anything less? Is it morally right? When Public Transport is as inadequate as it is what else can these people do, particularly if they are on call 24/7? It is certainly not ideal but we don't live in UK or America and must learn to accept this. I think it would only be newsworthy had the police van been parked there every day for the past 3 weeks for example. Give the guy a break - he arrived to collect his kids and left to take them home. The kids had everything ready to load so what is the problem.

  • Frank - 2012-01-16 11:23

    The camp site probably was a crime scene with the criminals loitering within Tent!

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-16 11:38

      Nice pun.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-16 11:39

    Drakensville is actually in KZN, about 20KM from Bergville. Poor reporting yet again.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-01-16 13:51

    “We always hear about the shortage of vehicles when we need the police. “If it is found that he broke the rules, steps will be taken against him. Yeah - right . . .

  • Wimpie - 2012-01-16 13:59

    LOL...what's the problem??? This is africa...its his company vehicle.

  • Muhammad Bin Hussain - 2012-01-17 06:06

    If anyone can honestly say that they have never used a company asset for private use or taken a personal call during office hours, then you can moan. But everyone one of us has used company time or resources for private use, whilst some people abuse this is another case in point. This cannot be seen as abuse because he may have used his own money for petrol and he wasn't parked there for days on end.

  • Jack - 2012-01-17 11:46

    Its theft of state petrol using a SAP for their own use.

  • Stean - 2012-01-17 12:58

    Christine, don't you have anything better to staying in the kitchen...

  • fran.boucher - 2012-01-17 14:06

    Ag weet jy! Die publiek is tog so vinnig om vinger te wys. Hoekom gaan vra julle toe nie die groot kokkedoor wat hulle daar maak nie. Hulle is dalk besig met opleiding of het 'n goeie rede om daar te wees. Ek kan my nie indink dat die polisie so blatant sal wees nie. Ag julle maak my so siek. "Assumptions is the beginning of all f-ups"

  • Cindy - 2012-01-17 14:33

    fire his sad ass