CHARMAIN NAIDOO: When the rule of law goes, anything goes
'I bribed an officer of the law, and in so doing behaved in exactly the same way that I viewed as repugnant when I saw it being done around me. It was a hard lesson'
I was in a hurry and so, as I roared down Central Road in Houghton, failed to see the traffic cops trapping for speed with what today would be a primitive pointy thing that apparently registered how fast you were going. A handlebar moustache swathed in khaki stepped out from behind a bush and held up his hand.
I screeched to a halt. The process of the negotiation began. Did I know I was doing nearly 80 – 77.4kms/hour maam to be exact – in a 60km zone. I didn’t know that, but I was terribly sorry officer.
I needed to get to the art school, he was determined to draw out the process. In the end, I dipped into my handbag, whipped out the R100 he’d been waiting for and handed it over – for a few beers over the weekend I said.
He waved me off. I was 15 minutes late.
I’ve never forgotten that bribe. It has always made me feel small and ashamed. Completely ashamed.