South Africa: The MEC for the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari, has commended two Provincial Traffic Officers for going beyond the call of duty to ensure compliance with the law.
Last week, the Lehurutshe-based Provincial Inspector (PI) TC Pule got a report that there was a stolen vehicle passing through Zeerust on N4 towards the border. The law enforcement officers went on the lookout and later apprehended the foreign national, who was taken to the Zeerust Police Station.
During the standard questioning referred to in the law enforcement parlance as debriefing, he spilt a motherlode of information.
He indicated that another stolen vehicle was on the way to the border en route to Zambia and gave a precise description.
Several days later an off-duty PI Pule saw the vehicle speeding dangerously through the Zeerust CBD. An observant officer’s initial inspection showed the vehicle matched an account given by an arraigned suspect, and the original manufacturer’s markings were tampered with.
They also called law enforcement for backup, another foreign national was arrested, and further inspection proved that the vehicle was stolen in Kempton Park in Gauteng.
“We have always encouraged our officers to be vigilant and attentive, and it is even more laudable as he was off duty but had the presence of mind to see that there was something wrong with the vehicle,” said MEC Lehari when informed of the brilliancy of an officer.
In another development, Principal Provincial Inspector (PPI) MD Van Staden, based at the Potchefstroom Station, arrested a police impersonator. He and his colleagues were on a law enforcement operation on Friday (07 July 2023) on N12 between Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp when they stopped a vehicle clocking 140 kilometres per hour on an 80-kilometre zone.
The stopped driver activated the blue flashing light used by law enforcement. PPI Van Staden asked the 35-year-old man if he was a law enforcement officer, to which he replied he was a police reservist.
Suspecting something as the blue light emitted from a concealed compartment of the vehicle, he was asked to identify himself, which he failed. On further questions from PPI Van Staden on whether he was on duty and whether there was an emergency that justified the high speed, he conceded he was impersonating the police and his day job is as a security officer.
He was taken to the Potchefstroom Police Station, where the case of impersonating a police official and reckless and negligent driving was opened, and the vehicle was impounded.
He informed the law enforcement officers that he bought the blue light at the foreign-owned shop in Pretoria but didn’t disclose the name or exact location.
The suspect is expected to appear at Potchefstroom Magistrates Court today, Monday, 10 July 2023. MEC Lehari said this is exemplary work by officers on two of the busiest Provincial arterial roads.
“We committed to having law enforcement visibility on all roads. This visibility is largely responsible for the reduction of road fatalities so far. We are proud of our officers; what they did is commendable and admirable,” said MEC Lehari.