Foreign nationals have been targeted by bogus patrollers in the Pretoria CBD, who subjected them to random stop-and-searches, and attempted to force them to pay large sums of money for not having legal documents on them.
On Monday, three men were stopped and searched on the corner of Nelson Mandela Drive and Francis Baard Street, by a woman and two men dressed in reflective community safety jackets.
Gibson Nyarenda told The Citizen on Tuesday that the trio had searched them at about noon for illegal substances, but once nothing was found, the patrollers wanted to see identity documents.
“I showed them my passport and ID. My friend had left his ID at the hotel and when we asked to go collect it, they demanded that we immediately pay a fine of
R3 500. We asked them to show us their official police identities, but they refused. That is when I became suspicious.”
Nyarenda said another West African national was also being searched by the trio at the time.
As the patrollers continued demanding money, he decided to leave to collect his friend’s ID from the hotel, leaving his friend with the patrollers.
“When I got to the hotel, I called my friend and he said the patrollers were preparing to handcuff him. I told him to tell the patrollers that I’ll be returning with the police. That is when they disappeared,” said Nyarenda.
Gauteng department of community safety has warned the public of bogus officials who duplicate or steal reflective jackets and impersonate officers.