Unaccounted cash possession arrests by Gauteng Traffic Police raise fears that law enforcement oversteps their mandate. On Twitter, people voiced their anger and fears that more draconian police actions threaten their day-to-day lives. While they arrested people in Krugersdorp for over 100k of unaccounted cash, their determination to arrest people seems uncapped. How much cash is too much? worries at least one taxi driver.
Unaccounted cash possession arrests in Krugersdorp
Police already face accusations of inhumanity during the COVID-lockdown in South Africa. We reported that it came after a man ended up arrested when he visited the hospital for urgent baby formula for his newborn. His wife ended up collecting the formula while carrying her newborn with two toddlers in tow. On foot in the wee hours of the morning. The outrage expressed on social media hammered the cops for a lack of compassion. Blinding applying the level 3 lockdown restrictions infuriates people.
So, when the news arrived that Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson talked about unaccounted cash possession leading to arrests, people lashed back. After all, police seemingly don’t discriminate between genuine curfew breakers and law-breakers. So, how much unaccounted cash will land people behind bars during this pandemic? News merged that two days ago, three people found in possession unaccounted cash were arrested. It came during a police operation in the Krugersdorp area. According to news.gov.za, one of them, a taxi driver, held “R34 430.”
Arrests attributed to alleged money-laundering
Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson Sello Maremane said: “Anyone found in possession of money that cannot be accounted for will be arrested immediately without fear or favour.” But he never said how much money would result in arrests. Given a reputation for blindly applying such policies across the board, people now grow suspicious. Naturally angry citizens spoke out against it on Twitter.
As one taxi driver explained, he keeps the cash and then delivers it to his employer when it reaches a substantial amount. It certainly looks like that person might easily carry up to R30k in unaccounted cash, Meanwhile, others worry about the fact that non-discerning cops could detain people or confiscate cash after a trip to the ATM. Sound ridiculous? Not if you read some of the traffic stop incidents alleged in the past. The idea that Traffic Police might apply unaccounted cash arrests too far clearly concerns people.
Reactions from upset citizens
On Twitter, a lot of people complained about it. Here’s what some of them said:
- @PrivilegedNot: “Not enough confiscating booze and zol to fill the coffers, too much effort in having to re-sell to get the cash…. now we’ll just confiscate money🤦♀️🤦♀️! Maybe I don’t trust banks and like to carry my money around with me🤷♀️… imagine! This country and its law enforcers are a joke.”
- @watchdog_za: “That would be illegal. Good luck with all the wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution cases. The absence of evidence does not prove guilt. You have to show a reasonable case for all of it. If they were reasonably capable of doing their jobs they would know this.”
- @b0x_5a: “Traffic cops are qualified to audit people’s finances now? What has this country become?”
- @jaspaas: “Eish, unaccounted? Money is always counted. What if its 30K cash I received from a buddy I borrowed…when he depended on me last year April. Does SAPS now have forensic auditors checking my transactions all the time. Am I now a North Korean???”
What do you think about the possibility of unaccounted cash arrests? Sound off in the comments below.
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