Corrupt Traffic Cop

A motorist whose licence disc expired has had his car towed away because
a metro police officer allegedly wanted to punish him for not paying a

Modise Sikhosana said the Ekurhuleni officer said she would teach him a
lesson. The incident happened outside Nedbank on Voortrekker Road in
Alberton on Monday.

She allegedly pointed a finger at him, rudely reprimanding him in front
of his wife and 4-year-old son. "Are we going to be arrested, papa," his
little boy asked with tears in his eyes.

"Of course not," he tried to reassure him. "An expired disc doesn't get
anyone in jail."

The metro cop, according to Sikhosana, was waiting for him next to his
car. He said he didn't even object to a fine.

But the metro police officer had something else in mind. She told him
the matter would be solved far easier if he just paid her an R800 bribe.

Sikhosana refused, joking that an R800 bribe would be more expensive
than the fine itself. It was then that the woman in uniform got angry.
She walked back to her car and called the private Bafana Bafana towing

A tow truck arrived later and left with Sikhosana's car and keys. The
tow truck driver allegedly asked him to sign all kinds of papers. But
Sikhosana refused. He didn't receive any impoundment receipt.

Just before the tow truck left, the metro police officer allegedly gave
Sikhosana one last bribing opportunity - for R2 000 he could keep his
car. With the money she could pay the tow truck driver and keep some for
herself, she said.

Again Sikhosana rejected the offer. "They didn't tell me where they took
my car," he told The Star yesterday. "I asked the metro police officer
if I could pick it up at the police station the next day or so, but she
said it would be kept at the premises of the towing firm."

"It could be stripped, but I am not accountable for that in any way,"
she threatened Sikhosana, laughing.

She gave him the R200 fine anyway, punishing him twice for the same
offence. Sikhosana had to call his sister to take him and his family
back to their Katlehong home. He reported his car as stolen to 10111.

But on Tuesday, almost two days later, Sikhosana still didn't know where
to look for it. He filed an official complaint at the Vosloorus metro
police department - not in Alberton because it turned out the police
officer had operated outside her jurisdiction.

The towing company confirmed yesterday it had indeed towed away
Sikhosana's car. They stated that it was not uncommon for the metro
police to ask them for help. They said they even have a contract with
the Ekurhuleni metro police.

*This article was originally published on page 2 of **The Star*
<http://www.thestar.co.za/>* on August 20, 2008 *


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