Viral video is a perfect example of unnecessary animosity between motorists and Metro.

JOHANNESBURG – The latest video to go viral on social media, this time depicting the interactions between a motorist accused of committing a traffic infringement and the Metro Policewoman who took him to task is a perfect example of how things should not be done. It clearly demonstrates the unnecessary animosity which exists between motorists and Metro Police and vice versa.

Mr Clive Naidoo was disrespectful and rude to the Metro Policewoman from the outset and, instead of acting in a professional manner, the Metro Policewoman decided to retaliate by not only belittling him, but by going further to make racist remarks towards him. To her credit, she did not get violent with him when he started recording the video as is often the case with Metro and other police.

Motorists need to come to realise that when they are stopped for allegedly committing a road traffic infringement, it is pointless to enter into an argument with the law enforcement officer. The roadside is not a court and a Metro/traffic officer is not a Magistrate, Judge or AARTO Representations Officer. If a motorist feels that they have been unfairly or falsely accused, there are formal channels in place for this to be addressed.

Furthermore, turning around to a Metro Police officer and saying “I pay your salary. I pay tax” is completely unnecessary, insulting and impertinent. Metro Police officers also pay tax and get no special treatment in this regard.

This does not however excuse the grossly unprofessional manner in which the Metro Policewoman in question acted and how she repeatedly goaded Mr Naidoo.

Firstly, she was quite clearly not wearing a name badge above her left breast pocket as is prescribed by Section 3(A)(7) of National Road Traffic Act and albeit that she was wearing a jersey at the time, such name tag must be completely visible and easily legible at all times.

Secondly, engaging in a debate as to whom pays whose salary is not only ridiculous but pointless and lastly, no Metro Police Officer has the right to belittle anyone, nor do they have the right to engage in sarcastic and racist statements.

The Metro Policewoman can be heard making such statements as “He’s paying our salaries but he’s still staying in Bloubosrand where there’s too much blacks and thieves” and “Indians and blacks, we are the same. So them, sometimes they think they are white and they are not. Black as us. Because they speak English. That’s why he is staying in Bloubosrand, because if he’s white he would stay in Sandton”.

Had the Metro Policewoman, instead of engaging in this ridiculous egotistical farce, simply adopted a professional approach, she may have noticed that Mr Naidoo had displayed his licence disc on the top left corner of his windscreen instead of the bottom left as is prescribed by regulation 36(1)(a) of the National Road Traffic Regulations and that he had a large crack in his windscreen, both of which would have given her the opportunity to cite him for additional infringements she would have had no trouble proving.

At the very least, both individuals owe one another a public apology.

Latest e-tolls advertising appears to be that of the Gauteng Provincial Government

JOHANNESBURG – Justice Project South Africa has taken note of the three latest e-tolls adverts featuring celebrities Tbo Touch, Minnie Dlamini and Khanyi Mbau and is somewhat concerned about the apparent involvement of the Gauteng Provincial Government in this advertising campaign.

We have also noted that the best response that SANRAL could come up with was to accuse OUTA of being “obsessed” with them.

Our observation has been that unlike JPSA, OUTA was formed as a direct consequence of SANRAL’s GFIP e-tolling project. It therefore follows that OUTA would indeed concentrate its efforts on that issue, so SANRAL should not be in the least bit surprised when they are called out by OUTA.

What is of greater concern to JPSA however is the apparent ownership of that advertising campaign apparently being vested in the Gauteng Provincial Government. With so many other urgent issues which require funding in Gauteng, it is surprising that the Gauteng Provincial Government would choose to spend money on producing and airing as well as paying so-called “celebrities” to promote e-tolling instead of spending it where it is truly needed. At the end of each of these adverts, there appears the logo of the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Despite the huge expenditure wasted on so-called “e-tolling review panel” eyewash exercise last year where it became more than apparent that almost everyone in Gauteng opposes the tolling of urban freeways, it is apparent that the Gauteng Provincial Government has chosen its side and is prepared to waste even more money on trying to convince people that tolling our urban routes is “the better way to go”.

Serious questions as to where and when budget was approved by the Gauteng Provincial Government to engage in pro e-tolling advertising need to be asked, particularly in light of the fact that it is doubtful whether a handful of “celebrities” who have clearly been paid to promote e-tolling will have much effect on anything other than branding themselves as mercenary sell-outs, just like the young lady who was similarly paid to laud the roadside assistance SANRAL sometimes provides on the GFIP.

Charges against motorist from whom a R200 bribe was solicited (but not paid) withdrawn

JOHANNESBURG – You may recall the YouTube video of the JMPD officer soliciting a bribe from a motorist on Christmas day, 2014 which went viral in January 2015. Since then, there have been a number of developments we wish to share with you.

Background

On Christmas day 2014, whilst returning to his home in the Pilansberg, Mr Greg Esterhuysen was stopped by a JMPD officer on the R512 going North just outside Lanseria Airport at approximately 17:55. The JMPD officer said that they were conducting an “Arrive Alive” roadblock to check for drunk drivers and offered Greg the choice of being breathalysed or paying R200 and proceeding on his way without being breathalysed. Greg, who was not under the influence of alcohol opted not to pay the bribe and his girlfriend video recorded the incident on her cell phone.

Greg's refusal to the bribe caused the JMPD officers in question to become enraged and they subjected him to what appears to have been a rigged breathalyser test at the Honeydew Police Station, whereafter they arrested him and drove him at breakneck speeds to a medical facility to have his blood drawn before taking him back to Honeydew Police Station to be detained.

After being detained at Honeydew Police Station for several hours, he was released on R1,500 bail, to appear in court on the charge of "drunk and driving" (driving under the influence of alcohol) on Friday 31 July 2015.

Whilst at the police station, family members tried to lay charges of corruption against the JMPD officers, only to be told by a SAPS Captain that they could not lay such a complaint “because no money had changed hands”. Greg’s girlfriend also called the JMPD Anti-Corruption Hotline and left a message. She was not called back until mid-January 2015 after several reports appeared in the media.

In mid-January 2015, after becoming aware of the video JPSA contacted Greg and assisted him to lay a formal complaint with the JMPD's Internal Affairs Department and SAPS after the video went viral. Despite the fact that the complaint was formalised, the officer concerned has still not appeared before a disciplinary hearing. Greg has however NOT been intimidated by anyone since he laid these charges, contrary to the fears that many people hold to the effect that they will be intimidated if they do the right thing.

Update

On Friday 31 July 2015, Greg appeared at the Randburg Magistrates Court where his lawyer, Mr Jeffery Wheat of Geo Isserow and T L Friedman Inc. succeeded in having the charges against him withdrawn. Greg and his legal team will be taking the matter further by lodging a civil claim for damages against all parties concerned, including but not limited to the JMPD and the officers concerned, in their personal capacities.

“JPSA wishes to commend Greg for the active citizenry he has exhibited throughout this matter. From refusing to pay the bribe to enduring the abuse meted out to him when he was arrested and subsequently following through with the appropriate actions to gain remedy, Greg has shown unusual and extraordinary courage in standing up for what is right,” said JPSA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky.

“By submitting to corruption and/or not taking action when their rights are abused by law enforcement officers, people are unfortunately guaranteeing that corruption and power abuse will continue to spiral out of control,” he continued.

“However, if more people take the stance that Greg has taken, both, corruption and power abuse can be halted, or at the very least, diminished. You owe it to yourself, your family, friends and countrymen to help curb the tide of corruption and power abuse by not paying bribes and taking decisive action if your rights are abused” he concluded.