Hidden in plain sight
We travelled to Botswana in May with two other couples, and everyone drove in their own vehicle. We drove in convoy, and at one stage, coming back from Maun, a man in plain clothes jumped out in front of us and waved us down. Piet and Marie de Vos drove in front in their Land Cruiser; they reduced speed but didn’t stop completely. My attention was focussed on the man and I realised that he could be a speed cop. The next moment I drove my Fortuner into the back of the Cruiser. A traffic vehicle appeared from behind the bushes and the man who tried to draw our attention was now in uniform. The Fortuner was badly damaged and we were injured. Marlene, my wife, suffered a fractured kneecap and five broken ribs. The seatbelts left bruises on our bodies. Two of my ribs were bruised and my nose bled from the impact of the airbag. In front of us, Marie was concussed. A tour bus drove by and the “official” pulled the driver over and instructed him to take us to the hospital in Maun. After this the “official” drove away in the direction of Gweta. We were discharged from hospital that same day and spent a few days in Maun to make arrangements after our ordeal. We spoke to the police commissioner in Maun and suggested a better way to pull vehicles over. After three days we flew home – Marlene’s leg in a cast. The Fortuner was written off and we left it in Maun until my son, Johann, could go fetch it three weeks later. Johann towed the wreck, and wouldn’t you know it, on the same stretch of road a man waving his arms with a jacket in hand pulled him over. Again the man wasn’t in uniform, and he showed Johann on his speed camera that he drove 90 km/h instead of 80 km/h. He demanded a cash fine but also mentioned that he didn’t have a receipt book with him. Johann told him about our accident and he admitted that he was involved. And just like that, the fine was forgotten and Johann drove on Tourists should be on their guard in the Gweta district.