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By Editorial staff


Top brass ride in new fast cop cars

Minister Bheki Cele unveils Volkswagen GTIs for quicker crime response, raising questions about publicity motives.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.

Janis Joplin’s counter-culture ode to anti-consumerism from the 1970s could be applicable to the fast car arms race which appears to be taking place among our guardians of law and order.

No sooner had Panyaza Lesufi equipped his township crime wardens with brand-new BMWs than the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation – The Hawks to you and us – went public to reveal their new fleet of… Volkswagens.

True enough, the 22 Golf GTIs are high-performance vehicles which will be used, according to Minister of Police Bheki Cele, to respond quicker to intelligence information to prevent crime, or to chase criminals who flee crime scenes in high-powered cars.

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Cele said in Pretoria yesterday that 40 of the 62 new cars would be unmarked and had already been distributed around the country.

All of this begs the question: why all the publicity?

The answer seems, to us anyway, to have little to do with actual policing on the ground and more to do with the need by Cele and the top cop brass to have yet another 15 seconds of fame.

Photo ops and sound bites don’t catch bad guys.

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