The tarmac digging into my face brought with it a torrent of memories from almost a decade ago. Ironically enough, even though I (quite literally) left half of my body’s skin merged with Schanzen Road on the day replaying itself in my mind’s eye, my facial features were to remain relatively unscathed for at least another seven years or so. The many years of blood, sweat and tears associated with slaving away in pursuit of the revered Charted Accountant (SA) qualification also sneaked in there, just as I felt my four-figure business suit getting acquainted with gravel and an assortment of oils.

The situation I found myself in at the moment, however, was not the result of some ignorant fool endangering the seemingly bright future of a young man on a motorcycle, but rather the culmination of what some may refer to as our wonderful “law enforcement” system. This incredible service to society, of course, has a world-renowned reputation when it comes to protecting and serving decent, law-abiding citizens – an astounding untarnished track record of its commitment to fighting crime and corruption is absolutely iron-clad (*cough cough* Jackie Selebi *cough, wheeze*). But enough about that, let’s get back to my face being smashed into tar.

Even though I had to go in search of a bigger belt just a couple of months ago (in order to accommodate my uncomfortably expanding waste), I was rather surprised that apparently it took five or six police officers to wrestle me to the ground – I shudder to think of my bear-like strength when I actually make use of my gym membership instead of simply giving them a monthly contribution out of the goodness of my heart. The possibility that these “officers” were somehow deformed or incapable of perform strenuous physical acts was, however, also a very strong possibility – it took even more of them to escort my (female) friend from the establishment hosting our lovely evening.

At first I paid no heed to the throng of people in SAPS uniforms accompanying my friend – but when she did not rejoin us after about two minutes, my concern prompted further investigation into the matter. I thus proceeded to venture outside, in search of my friend, only to find her surrounded by a mass of people – the majority of whom were wearing SAPS uniforms. I approached the little get-together and enquired whether there was a problem and, if so, what the nature thereof was. According to our upstanding arm of the law, my friend was apparently the mastermind behind an elaborate fraud scheme. The case had already been opened at the local police station and she had just been pointed out, by an apparently very credible person, as being a filthy criminal.

At this point in time, a few more uniformed enforcers decided to join us. Subsequent to confirming with my friend that these allegations were indeed unfound, I too was boxed in by the group representing our illustrious police force. The phrases “take you away” so that we may “talk in another place” were distinctly communicated to us. Both my friend and I agreed that we were more than willing to go down to Douglasdale police station so that we may resolve this obvious misunderstanding.

The offer of our compliance appeared to upset quite a few of these morally sound individuals, who then all started speaking at the same time. I made vocal my observation that “this is obviously an unnecessary inconvenience to my friend and you are unfairly harassing her.” Threats of being arrested were then lobbied by several of the individuals, still surrounding us.

Feeling the tension rise, I singled out the guy who looked like the proverbial “big cheese” – surely the “leader” of this pack attained his rank by encouraging sound judgement and exercising his ability to defuse volatile situations. Note should be made that Big Cheese wasn’t sporting the washed-out SAPS uniforms his comrades were in. Still, hoping to solve the matter with reason, I asked the man for his name.

I’m no expert in the fine art of cultural differences, but my enquiry appeared to make Big Cheese very angry. The logic inside me was burning to know: “Surely, if this is all above board, you don’t have a problem giving me your name, officer?” Still, Big Cheese refused. Directing the query to the group of officers was also fruitless – they were obviously following the pristine example set by their fearless leader. Even now something just didn’t feel right. I managed to push my way through the collection of head-strong constables and managed to acquire a scrap of paper and a Pen – rumoured to be more powerful than the sword.

Upon wrestling my way through to my friend again, I brandished the Pen with full intention to use it. My faith in leadership unwavering, I asked Big Cheese for his name once more. My persistence resulted in the SAPS calling in back-up: another team-mate appearing to wear a black bullet-proof vest – you know, just in case my friend and I decided to open fire on them with our vast arsenal of deadly weaponry. Mr Big Gun was disturbingly excited about being assigned to confront me, preceding to steam-roll in my general direction and demanding boisterously why I dared ask for names…

Seeing that diplomacy had obviously failed, I noted “this is clearly a case of harassment targeted at my friend, as no uniformed person here is willing to give their names.” This upset Mr Big Gun a lot. Infuriated might actually be a better term. He lunged at the severely-out-of-hand-disturbing-the-peace-more-than-people-who-strike-and-threaten-nurses-at-gunpoint-to-leave-Intensive-Care-Units brigand (that’s me, by-the-by), seeing as this foul blight on humanity (me again) was obviously a dire threat to society. My courageous friend threw herself in front of the battle-hungry Mr Big Gun, resulting in the frenzied individual almost ploughing through her with the exact same intent.

“You cannot hit me – I am a lady!” came the cry from the brave woman taking on the armoured Mr Big Gun. Fearing for her safety, I once again faced the Enforcer. Introducing myself, as gentlemen do, I foolishly asked for Mr Big Gun’s name as well. The next moment this oaf grabs me by my chest and starts pushing me out of the group. His valiant action impelled another one of their merry band to join in the fun, and I was dragged off to one side for some “personal” attention.

Not necessarily appreciating being man-handled by a bunch of people entrusted with our community’s safety, I resisted. They were kind enough to share the fact that “We take you away! We go talk in another place!” as we approached an unmarked, silver BMW. Digging in my heels rather firmly, I exclaimed “this is not a police vehicle! What are you doing with me?” The relatively innocent question was met with a response by the person wearing the black bullet-proof vest: “we are taking you away! We are going to sort you out!”

Enter my monthly contribution to the gym down the road versus Bravestar’s “Strength of a Bear!” trick: I was not going to get into that BMW. Those who claim they know me rather well will attest to the fact that once I set my mind on something, come Hell or Noah’s next ark-ride, I ain’t letting go. The unexpected resistance queued calls for assistance to the group gathered where my friend was being intimida-, oh wait – “interviewed” – by our friendly officers. A bunch of them trotted over and assisted Mr Big Gun in reminding me what tar and gravel tastes like.

I voiced my concern as I felt the hand-cuffs slice through my skin, wanting to know whether they were simply accusing me of something or actually arresting me. I really wasn’t keen on a ride in that silver BMW – I’ve heard stories about it, and had worked too hard getting to where I am in life to fund the local police’s Bribery and Extortion gig. It is now approximately a month after the ordeal, and I still don’t have feeling in half of my right-hand thumb. I was almost relieved when I was hoisted on high and carried over to a marked police van rather than some slick BMW.

The “taxi-service” took me to Douglasdale police station, where I was thrown in a holding cell. Being an incredibly inquisitive person, I continued to pursue my quest for knowledge of pretty much anyone’s name at that point. In-between our scenic drive there, being escorted from the van to the cell, being handled by several people, etc. – I was still without a name. The cuffs took quite a while to get off, as the person charged with that uncomfortable duty struggled rather extensively in getting the actual mechanism to eat away enough flesh so that they may be removed.

Whilst idly admiring my quaint little cell, I noticed the pious source of the police’s reasoning behind our arrest arriving. Two very well-liquored boys stumbled into the little corridor next to my new-found home. I was astonished. Here I was sitting in a holding cell – someone who worked many hours free-of-charge in community clinics and served society in public service financially for more than four years – because some drunk kid pointed out my friend as the mastermind behind some bogus fraud scheme. And they still weren’t willing to tell me why I was there in the first place!

To make matters worse, one of the little snot-heads decided that he needed sustenance to continue their apparently well-planned rouse in making a couple of bucks with the help of our illustrious SAPS. And no, he wasn’t going to settle for a normal garage pie like any other ingrate his age: he wanted Andiccio’s. I’m doing pretty well in life, and I can’t even afford Andiccio’s! But let’s not make this about me.

What followed were several hours of doing the dance designated for us filthy criminals who dare endanger society and whom are not willing to pay extra for “protection” in our own neighbourhoods. The dance involved being carted around from “institution” to “institution” without being allowed to contact anyone from the outside world. I was also told that “no-one will find you” after I refused giving my name without being told what I was arrested for.

After eventually being released without the need to pay bail (yes, the allegations were that preposterous), we were informed that my (female) friend was still going to be held for the maximum time the law permits. Yes – they are allowed to hold you for 48 hours without having to charge you (or give you any good reason, apparently). Now, you can try and object this, but only when you’re fortunate enough to be assisted by someone who knows what they’re doing when dealing with the System (read: lawyers).

Sure, you can wait around to be processed without any help and put your faith in all that is right and good… but guess who you have to go through to get that far: the SAPS. Now isn’t that ironic?

Thankfully, at the end of the day, justice prevailed and two innocent people were allowed back into society, so that they may till away at their meaningful contribution to society. It may have cost them several thousand Rand and an experience neither should ever have faced in all their living years, but at least those Rands stayed out of the corrupt police officers’ grubby paws.

//’bunny out, living yet another day to fight both corruption and stupid people.


Following my release, I learned that the po-po needed to seize every piece of technology that looked like a computer from my (female) friend’s home – you know, for the case and whatnot. When the accusers admitted their incredible stupidity and my friend was (finally) released, we proceeded to set off on a quest of reclamation in the hopes of recovering the tools of her trade. Upon successfully extracting said goods, we started the arduous trek back home from the Ominous Johannesburg CBD.

Just as we thought we had finally been freed of Bribery and Corruption’s Very Fat And Smelly Bosom (for the day, at least), my Silver Carriage of Sanctuary (Volvo, to those of you who might lack my extremely over-active imagination) got high-jac- I mean – “pulled over” by the flagship of our war against bribery: the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department. Murphy received a very colourful array of “blessings” as my nostrils were set ablaze with the stench of very obvious bribe-fishery. And surprise-surprise: the whole exercise was re-enforced with the threat of being arrested!

Thankfully I had discussed the whole ordeal with my family the previous night, and was subsequently provided with a very useful number:

0800 203 712
This, my friends, is the Fraud and Corruption Hotline. As I took out my mobile phone, little Miss Piggy’s superior ambled over to my window and enquired as to what I was doing… I proceeded to share the fact that I’m simply phoning the said hotline, as I believed I was being held and threatened there illegally.

Before I could finish my sentence, I was waved on with the words “you may proceed” from the uniformed officer.