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Cops ripping tourists off

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By The Editor on July 15 - SWAZI TIMES-15-Jul-2009

On Sunday, July 5 at around 3:15pm near Nkoyoyo along the highway I was stopped by traffic police officers for speeding.

The speed limit was 80km/h and I was doing 80km/h. As I had been fined two months previously on the same road, and this time I made sure not to exceed the speed limit.

When I said that I was not speeding, the officer responded aggressively that I was saying he was lying. When I requested to see the reading on the device, he said it reseted after 30 seconds. When I asked the officer if he could produce a calibration certificate for the device, he merely said the device was calibrated.

When I again said I was not speeding, the office responded aggressively that he could meet me in court the following Monday to contest the issue. As I was on my way back home to South Africa, this was obviously not an option for me, so I reluctantly paid the fine. During this time, two more foreign registered cars were stopped, however, a number of Swaziland registered cars passed us and none were stopped.

Upon inspection of the receipt I received, I noticed it only states ‘exceeding the speed limit’, with no details as to where the offence occurred and the speed I was supposed to have done. I am under the impression that foreigners are targeted as the traffic officers know that none of their fines will be contested.

Opportunity One does not even have the opportunity to see the reading on the speed measuring device. It is sad to see that the situation in Swaziland is fast becoming corrupt as is the case in other African countries, this during a time that Swaziland cannot afford to lose tourists. I am now considering other destinations for my holidays.

Regards W. de Graaf Pretoria.

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