Hid­den in plain sight

Go! Camp & Drive - - Letter - WIL­LIE STADLER Jef­freys Bay

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.

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