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.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.