New report shows how dodgy police officers are targeting South African drivers for bribes

Corruption Watch has published a new report on the state of corruption in the South African Police Services.

The report is based on public complaints from 2012 up to the end of 2018, and considers the type of corruption and how members of the public were affected.

Nationally, most cases of SAPS corruption were received from Gauteng Province accounting for 52.8% of the total number of reports in the sector. The bulk of these – a touch over 59% – emanate from Johannesburg.

The provincial capital, Tshwane, contributes 16% of the cases received between 2012 and the end of 2018.

Corruption Watch said that this is likely because these provinces and cities have the largest population numbers and that our main activities take place in this area.

“A similar argument can be made for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) which counts for almost 11% of the reports of corruption received in the same period,” the group said.

“eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality contributed 73% of the reports of corruption received from the province.

“Proportionately, the city’s figure is similar to Western Cape’s Cape Town, which generated 84% of the reports of corruption from that province. The Western Cape contributed slightly over 8% of reports of corruption received countrywide.”


Corruption Watch said that bribery was the most commonly reported issue (33%), followed by abuse of power (23%) and a failure to act (18%).

“There are reports of officers soliciting bribes from motorists for arbitrary reasons and the amounts run into the tens of thousands of rands,” the group said.

“In a case from Gauteng, where bribery stands at 47%, a complainant stated that a police vehicle followed her and her partner from a social gathering with friends and as they approached home -which was 2 km from the event – they were stopped, accused of driving under the influence, without being tested, and asked for R1,000.”

In other random stops and searches, motorists are asked to pay thousands of rands to continue driving their vehicles that are not roadworthy, Corruption Watch said.

The group said that it has also been approached with reports of officers accepting bribes to ‘make dockets disappear’.

This leads to cases being thrown out of court and perpetrators of horrid crimes, such as murder and rape, returning to communities that they terrorised.

Read: Drivers warned about travelling on one of South Africa’s busiest highways after dark

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New report shows how dodgy police officers are targeting South African drivers for bribes