Johannesburg, a city where the Police are both feared and not respected. They are seen as corrupt, fat and indifferent to citizens, often unwilling to assist.
Now, living in Jozi, I have naturally experienced the corrupt officers soliciting a bribe, beating up civilians and unwilling to assist people that need assistance. However, this is not a reflection on our Police force as a whole. South African Police have to work under the most dangerous circumstances with minimum pay. Before judging those that take bribes, perhaps one should ask the question, does the Government not appreciate the men and women that put their lives on the line everyday?
Every now and then, I am honored to encounter a Metro Police Officer that goes against the stereotype of the “Stomach out, Chest in” corrupt SAPS Officer. Just recently, I had a blowout on a dangerous strip of highway, right where two Metro Police officers were trapping. Not expecting them to assist me, but thinking it’s worth a shot anyway, I approached the officers and asked if they could help me change my tyre.
Well, was I in for a surprise! Officer Happy (his name was definitely well chosen) not only agreed to help me change my tyre but also gave me his telephone number in case anything went wrong on my way home. We ended up having a great conversation. It’s times like these where I’m reminded that the police are people too, and dealing with rude, abrasive and often dangerous people on a daily basis might not be so easy for them. People from this city are not known to treat the police with much respect, often disdain and anger is the response we give our police.
So come on Jozi, give the “Pigs” a break sometimes! Smile and thank them for the work that they do to protect us in such a difficult city and who knows, they might even be nice in return!