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I was chased by fake police – This is what happened

TopAuto reader John recently wrote in to tell his story of being chased by fake police over dozens of kilometres and what happened when they finally caught up with him.

These syndicates have been plaguing motorists in the Gauteng province for months and are able to put on a convincing act as they even have blue lights and seemingly-official police uniforms.

John shares his story below.

Chased by a syndicate

In the early hours of Monday morning, I took a family member to the airport while it was still dark and we traveled out of Pretoria on the N1 freeway merging onto the R21 toward O.R. Tambo.

There were few cars on the road and almost immediately I noticed a white VW Polo Vivo sedan was tailing me after joining the R21. The vehicle’s behaviour was suspicious as it was swerving across the lane and it wasn’t identifiable as a police car.

After a few minutes had passed, the Polo pulled up beside me and the front-seat passenger shone a bright flashlight into my window. Seconds later, red and blue lights on the vehicle’s dash started flashing and I was convinced it was the police.

Still being dark outside, I made the decision not to pull over and to continue driving to the airport, the suspicious VW sitting right behind me all the way.

The VW followed me into the busy airport terminals and when we came to a stop in bumper-to-bumper traffic the officer in the front seat jumped out and ran to my window instructing me to pull into a parking spot.

The driver of the Polo also caused quite a scene when he attempted to stop next to me, and I noticed that all three individuals inside the car were wearing full police uniforms.

The first officer identified himself as Constable Mahlangu and said they caught me going 164km/h in a 120km/h zone which was cause for arrest. He then said they did not attempt to pull me over on the freeway in the dark as they wanted me to feel safe when executing the arrest, leading me to believe they were legitimate officers.

However, I was using cruise control when he first started tailing me and knew I did not break the speed limit, especially not by that much.

I asked Constable Mahlangu for proof that they caught me speeding, and he explained that they will only be able to show me this once we are at the police station as their mobile speed scanners keep records for just 15 minutes before sending them to a national database and deleting them from local storage.

He took my licence and allowed me 10 minutes to make a phone call to let someone know what was happening and where I was going to be taken, and thereafter instructed me to follow them back to the Centurion police station.

Peculiarly, I was left alone in my bakkie and the officer hopped back in the Polo as it sped off on the R21 towards Centurion, once again veering across the lanes and breaking the speed limit.

R21 Freeway between M31 off-ramp and OR Tambo where John was tailed

When we reached the M31 off-ramp the Polo abruptly pulled over on the yellow road markings and an arm shot out the window indicating that I must park next to it.

Now that it was starting to become daylight, I could see it was a stock-standard Polo inside with only a lightbar glued to the dash and no radar gear or other police equipment you would expect to see.

I also noticed that the driver could barely keep his eyes open and it looked like he fell asleep against the window in the short time that we were parked on the side of the road.

Constable Mahlangu said he spoke to his “supervisor in the backseat” and that all they will need from me before giving back my licence is “a cooldrink.”

Fortunately, while I was following the Polo back from the airport I was alone in the car and able to share my location with friends and family and change all my withdrawal limits through the banking app.

We drove again to a nearby ATM and by a stroke of good fortune, there was a person already drawing money. I quickly explained the situation and they stood by while I used the machine as the “officers” sat in their car at the far end of the parking lot keeping a keen eye on my actions.

I withdrew what little I could (R300) and stopped next to the waiting criminals.

It seems they already had some practice as in one smooth motion, I handed the folded-up notes to the Constable while he gave back my licence, and seconds later they were out of sight.

If the awareness level of the driver was anything to go by, they were probably out there from dusk till dawn and I was their last customer for the night.

The video below was taken shortly before the VW pulled over on the M31 off-ramp.

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