Crooked cops threaten tourism - MEC

2015-11-10 16:01
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Mbombela - Corrupt police or traffic officers in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland are preying on foreign visitors by looking for traffic violations where there are none.

This is according to Mpumalanga Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Sikhumbuzo Kholwane.

"I am informed that as soon as they realise that a vehicle has got foreign registration plates or is a rental vehicle, they will look out for all sorts of mistakes, and even go to the extent of fabricating them, in order to solicit a bribe," said Kholwane.

He was speaking at the annual Umsebe Accord 2015, which was held in Mbombela recently.

The Accord is an inter-municipal multilateral protocol signed in February 2012 between the cities of Mbombela and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, Matola in Mozambique and Mbabane in Swaziland.

It aims to promote mutual respect and understanding of the culture and traditions of citizens of each municipality, including cultural exchange programmes.

Kholwane said that all efforts at co-operation and understanding may, however, be dampened by corrupt law enforcement officers in the respective countries.

"My concern is that it has the potential to reverse all our collective gains, which will definitely have a negative impact on the regional tourism, trade and investment growth. And when this happens, our people will suffer because as the number of tourists decrease, so will the jobs," said Kholwane.

He appealed to each country's representatives to address the matter with urgency.

"I therefore appeal to you all, to deal with this issue unapologetically and without hesitation. Otherwise it may derail our collective efforts to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality – let alone the objectives of this Accord," said Kholwane.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said that if tourists, or even residents, found themselves victims of any such crimes, they should report the matter to the police.

"They can report corruption and crime and we can follow up. We have excellent systems in place to deal with these kind of matters and to monitor the situation. If it is not reported, we cannot do our jobs," said Mohlala.

He advised people to report such incidents to 10111.

Read more on:    police  |  mozambique  |  swaziland  |  mbombela  |  southern africa  |  tourism  |  crime

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