Wheels24

'Good cop' bad cop?

2012-01-13 08:11

A traffic cop accused of taking a R100 bribe from a minibus taxi driver at a roadblock told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday he was good at his job.

"I'm the best on my team, I know I am," said Angelo Sampson, 38, an officer in the employ of the City of Cape Town.

Sampson, based at the Cape Town's Parow traffic department, allegedly accepted the bribe from taxi driver Luvuyo Bonani in February 2011. Prosecutor Ezmaralda Johnson said Bonani, after his arrest at the late-night roadblock, asked Sampson what would happen to him. Sampson then allegedly asked Bonani for R250 to release him but Bonani only had R100, which Sampson accepted.

According to the charge sheet, Sampson then released Bonani from a locked patrol van and gave back his taxi's keys.

'DRIVERS KNOW ME'


Sampson, questioned by defence counsel Lennit Max, denied the bribe and said he had been nowhere near the patrol van during the road block. He recalled how the traffic officer who had arrested Bonani asked who had released him from the patrol van without his consent but nobody knew.

Sampson told the court: "In the taxi culture, they don't expose one another, but stick together. The taxi drivers know me well, and fear me. I am good at my job."

Sampson said he regularly arrested drivers at the taxi ranks, without fear, and took them to court. He said that at roadblocks, all officers did as they pleased.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS


"There is no control. No person is given any particular function at a roadblock."

Johnson asked Sampson if any of his colleagues were as good as him in their work. He replied: "No, they don't reach my level... I know my own personal capabilities. I go and get the people and arrest the taxi owners and drivers. None of my colleagues does that."

Asked if the taxi drivers in the townships were his friends, he replied: "They know me, but I don't socialise with them."

Then he turned to magistrate Amrith Chabillal and said: "Like I am friends with you, your worship."

Judgment was expected on Friday, January 13.

SAPA