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26 June 2023
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Motorists must protect themselves against corrupt cops

 

It is a sad day when the Tshwane Metro Police Department has to urge motorists to take photos and vehicle number plates of metro police officers trying to bribe or threaten them with rape and exploit them for money. 

 

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department announced that its officers will soon be required to wear body cameras in a bit to combat the rife corruption.

 

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department dismissed six officers, while its equivalent in Tshwane is investigating 50 of its officers.

 

At least three Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department officers have been arrested on charges of kidnapping, theft, extortion and defeating the ends of justice. 

 

And in the Western Cape three officers of the South African Police Service have been arrested for the recent spree of kidnappings of individuals whose families are exploited for ransom money. 

 

Martlé Keyter, MISA’s Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says this is the bizarre new normal to which law abiding citizens needs to adjust. 

 

“One of MISA’s employees was recently involved in an extortion incident with the Tshwane Metro Police at a roadblock at the Atterbury-offramp of the N1 highway. After being unsuccessful to transfer money to the cellphone numbers of six officers, the driver had to go to the nearest ATM to draw money.

 

“He went to the Sinoville Police Station where officers refused to open a case because he did not have a name of the suspect. He was standing in front of the police officers when the corrupt Tshwane metro police officer phoned him from her personal cellphone asking for her money. Still they did not open a case,” says Keyter.

 

A corruption case was opened the next day at the Lyttelton Police Station which confirmed that he was involved in an extortion incident but one of a flood of cases under investigation.

 

Keyter says it is so bad that Councelor Cilliers Brink, the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, sent out an  official letter saying due to “various complaints of alleged extortion and corruption” by officers, the officers must take note that the public has the right to request their appointment certificates, take photos and make videos.

 

Police officials told MISA that motorist can refuse to stop, put hazards on and indicate that they are driving to the nearest police station if they are afraid to stop for the metro police officers. 

 

MISA asked Wessie Wessels, an attorney specialising in criminal law, what motorist are to do.

 

According to Wessels the reasonable man must believe we live in a country where officers don’t abuse their power and are enforcing law and order. 

 

“You have to be alert while driving. If you are pulled over in a roadblock, stop in clear light, ask for identification, take photos and make your video recording. Don’t pass a red light without stopping, don’t drink and drive, do not speed. 

 

“The reasonable man must stop when pulled over by an officer, unless feeling unsafe. Only then you can put on your hazards, and drive calmly and orderly to the nearest police station” says Wessels.

 

Keyter says she believes that the current climate makes the normal test of the reasonable man debatable. 

 

“Kidnapping in South Africa is four times higher than 10 years ago according to the Institute for Security Studies. The most recent crime statistics showed a 25% increase in carjackings. We are fighting a war against violent crime. Motorists must act responsible and protect themselves and their loved ones,” says Keyter.

 

The various metro police departments and the SAPS did not respond to MISA’s enquiries.

 

Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, MISA’s Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist. 

 

For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email media@ms.org.za

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