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PROJECT: NAVIGATING BRIBERY DEMANDS FROM TRAFFIC OFFICERS (PART 1)

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The Festive Season has many people driving to holiday destinations and family. Most people are law-abiding citizens and will adhere to a traffic officer stopping them for a justified traffic violation. However, the South African traffic departments are renowned for their requests for bribes – this has an extremely negative effect on our country’s drivers as it results in fear, extortion and trauma for many.



Recent incidents reported by News24 have drawn attention to the concerning trend of traffic officers soliciting bribes rather than fulfilling their duties. In a notable case, a traffic officer was fined a significant R60,000 for demanding bribes from drivers, underscoring the seriousness of corruption within law enforcement.


Understanding what to do and what not to do in such situations is crucial.


 

WHAT TO DO:

  • Know Your Rights:

  • Understand the distinction between peace officers and police during traffic stops. Knowledge of these differences empowers individuals to act effectively.

  • Refuse Bribe Requests Firmly:

  • If faced with a demand for a bribe, firmly decline and seek immediate assistance from the SAPS anti-corruption unit or relevant authorities.

  • Collect Evidence:

  • While remaining respectful, gather written notifications and necessary details for legal purposes if threatened or faced with false allegations.

  • Report Promptly:

  • Utilise official channels such as the SAPS national anti-corruption hotline or the RTMC's hotline to report instances of corruption promptly.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Avoid Arguments:

  • Refrain from engaging in arguments or negotiations with the officer at the scene.

  • Keep interactions respectful and avoid confrontation.

  • Do Not Pay Bribes:

  • Under no circumstances should individuals succumb to paying bribes.

  • It is a serious offence with severe legal repercussions.


 

Respecting traffic officers is crucial in all situations, but it remains critical that the public refuse to pay bribes. It is essential to assert personal rights and uphold the law but still maintain a calm composure not to escalate a potential conflict situation.


Instances like the recent case highlighted in the media spotlights the urgent need to address bribery demands from traffic officers. By being aware of the correct actions, refusing bribes, and reporting corruption, individuals can contribute to upholding the law and ensuring the integrity of law enforcement.


 

RECENT NEWS ARTICLES HIGHLIGHTING THE RAMIFICATIONS OF BRIBES:


 

REPORT FRAUDULENT AND CORRUPT ACTIVITY:

  • Anyone can report to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline at:   

  • 0861 400 800

  • A report can be made directly to the National Road Traffic Anti-Corruption email: NTACU@rtmc.co.za

 


INFORMATION REQUIRED WHEN A REPORT IS MADE:

  • The place where the fraudulent and corrupt activity took place.

  • Date and time of the incident.

  • Names of people involved.

  • Amount of money involved or description of gratification/gift/token of appreciation given.

  • Any other information or proof which may exist.



 
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Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

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