The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) have instituted an internal investigation after a recently unemployed 40-year-old man was allegedly “intimidated” by two officers in Centurion, trying to elicit a bribe from him.
“The incident occurred on Friday on Nellmapius Drive close to Cornwall Hill estate, according to Conrad Smit.
Smit said he had taken his wife and 11-year-old son to dinner as it was his birthday.
“We arrived at the restaurant at about 18:00 and left at 20:18,” he said.
“I noticed a TMPD bakkie in front of me, turning left into Nellmapius Drive and then pulling over to the side of the road.
“I also turned left at the traffic light and continued past the vehicle. I noticed them turning back onto the road.
“They followed me for a couple of hundred meters after which they turned on their blue lights and pulled me over. I turned on my hazards, pulled off the road, put on my mask and wound down my window.”
He said two officers got out.
“They both walked to my window and immediately said they could smell alcohol on me, even though I was wearing a mask and they were as well,” said Smit.
He said the officers then asked for his driver’s licence and checked the vehicle’s license disk.
“They asked me how much I had to drink and I told them I had a beer with my dinner.
“They then said I was not allowed a single beer under legislation. When I said that that law has yet to be passed by parliament, they ordered me out of the vehicle.
“They told me I was wrong and that they were going to arrest me and that I can try and explain it to a judge on Monday.”
He said the more he tried to reason with them, the more aggressive they became.
“I then got out of my vehicle and followed them towards their vehicle. It was at this point that they asked me how we were going to sort this mess out, as they knew I didn’t want to spend the weekend in jail. I told them there was nothing that I could do.”
Smit said they offered to “help” him.
“I told them I had no money on me and said they could check my wallet. They then said we could drive to a petrol station and I could make a withdrawal.
“I told them I did not even have money to withdraw as I have been on temporary layoff from work since March 2020.”
He said all he could offer was R200.
“They then gave me back my driver’s license and told me I was lucky and they left in the direction of Irene Village mall.”
Smit said they were not wearing any name badges and he failed to get the registration number of their vehicle.
“We are aware of this incident,” said TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba.
“After receiving this complaint, we immediately started with internal investigations. We take such complaints very seriously and we will get to the bottom to establish what happened. We should emphasize that we are zero tolerance against corruption.”
“We are proud of the complainant and that he managed to come forward to report the incident. We also encourage others who might experience similar incidents to immediately report them to us. We guarantee that information provided to us will be treated confidentially.”
Such incidents can be reported to 083-657-2998.
This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.