Johannesburg - As we head into the 2016/17 holiday period, police presence will increase on our roads. Sadly, as with any organisation, there are unscrupulous individuals within the South African Police service whom have been observed soliciting bribes.
A recent altercation at a roadblock, captured via dashcam, between the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and a motorist, shows alleged corruption.
He was stopped on West Street, Sandton on November 28 2016. The officer, says Beamish, was believed to have introduced himself as "George". Beamish admits to the officer that he had a "double whiskey at about half-past five" that evening. He was stopped by police after 20:30pm however adds he had a "heavy meal three hours prior".
We've included advice on dealing with aggressive officers as well as what the law says regarding filming the police at the end of this article.
Watch the clip and decide for yourself:
Arrive Alive has published a transcript of the altercation: Here's a excerpt below
Tony: I had — eh — double whisky at about half past five this evening.
George: Ok. Then this thing will tell us. You must blow in here.
Tony: I will.
Tony: I just want the lights.
George: No. Blow in here.
George: Ah, ja, ja. It shows [indistinct noise] It shows [indistinct noise] from here.
George: It show from here but you are not going to be prosecuted
Tony: Sorry, what are you saying
George: No. Listen to me.
George: We are not going to be judged with this. We are going to draw blood, but they must come. Where do you work?
Tony: I work at Carte Blanche.
Tony: The television station in Randburg.
George: It's going to spoil your everything.
Beamish told Arrive Alive: "If it were up to me the limit would be 0.02% for all drivers. Uber is the way to go if you want to party. Three hours after having two tots of whisky then dinner, I was not intoxicated. In fact, I wanted to see the reading simply from an educational point of view as I felt perfectly fine. I am offering a R200 reward to the first person to accurately point out the officer concerned."
Calling his lawyer
Watch as he contacts his attorney and was advised to leave quietly once the officer was willing to "give him a chance":
Have you experienced a similar altercation with traffic officials? Email us
Arrive Alive responds:
According to Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck: "Road carnage will only be reduced when we have both a change in driver attitude as well as effective, visible traffic enforcement that is free of corruption. The RTMC will be holding an Indaba in December 2016 in Durban with traffic officials and we hope that it will add to rooting out corruption and increasing effective traffic enforcement.
"We sadly hear too many of these examples .. there is much fear and uncertainty among road users about 'what will happen next?', 'Where will they take me?' 'What will happen to me if I am thrown in a prison cell?' This uncertainty can easily be exploited by the corrupt traffic official leaving the road user with two options - 'Do I go along and have my blood tested or do I rather pay a small amount, keep my mouth shut and see it is a unfortunate expense even though I may be below the legal limit...?
"We hope that the JMPD and the anti-corruption unit within the RTMC would follow this up. It must be [even if not corruption] a breach of professional protocol not to show the road user what the reading on the breathalyser is!! This warrants in our mind a disciplinary process."
Another JMPD altercation
Earlier in March 2016, Wheels24 reported on a video showing an altercation between a driver and a JMPD officer at the entrance to the Mall of Africa in Midrand, outside Pretoria.
Do you have the right to film a police officer?
Arrive Alive: "Yes, you can film a traffic officer. The Right to Know campaign has excellent material regarding the legalities of filming officers in South Africa."
SAPS standing Order 156:
• An officer cannot stop you from taking a photo or video.
• An officer cannot seize/damage your equipment. An officer cannot force you to delete footage.
Click on the tweet below for a more in-depth view of your rights with regards to filming officers.