Sadly, in South Africa being bribed by an officer of the law is a common occurrence. We acknowledge that there are good cops and bad cops and you never really know which cop you can trust.

Dembovsky said, “It should go without saying that not all traffic officers are corrupt, however, equally, not all traffic officers are not,”.

“The truth of the matter is no-one really knows the full extent of corruption amongst traffic officials, mainly because relatively little is being done to actively combat the situation.”

This is why we constantly need to be aware of our situation and our surroundings. It’s tough to always be on the lookout but crime in South Africa is on the increase especially with Covid-19 around. There are more chance takers now than ever before.


One of the most important things to remember, even if you feel under pressure, is not to be bribed by a dirty cop. Meaning do not pay him/her to relieve yourself from the situation. This will only empower the corrupt and allow them to keep targeting the innocent. South Africans need to look out for one another, and you will be protecting your people and your country.

Dembrovsky was asked, “what should a driver do if a traffic cop attempts to bribe them?”.

How to go about a “corrupt cop situation”:

  1. Refuse to pay the bribe
  2. Do not argue or get aggressive with the cop
  3. Demand a detailed written notice of your alleged offence
  4. Call SAPS Emergency Call Centre 10111 or 0861 400 800
  5. Follow up with SAPS anti-corruption unit 082 820 6467

 “If you are threatened with arrest, or you are arrested because you refuse to pay a bribe, cooperate and remember that you will be able to lay formal criminal charges against the cop concerned,” said Dembovsky.

You may be falsely accused but the best way to handle it is not to argue in the moment as the corrupt cop will try and aggravate you into doing something wrong, don’t fall for it. The case will go to trial and you will be able to tell your side of the story. Hopefully this way we can do our part to help get rid of corrupt cops and make a case to show how many there are in our country.

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