So, this is my Blog, my thoughts / feelings / ideas. You may comment if you like. If you attack me, I come back at you with reckless / racist / suicidal abandon. If you compliment me, I thank you. If you don't ever visit again I don't care. Other than that, just enjoy what I write, or not.

LIU - Look It Up!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Things we do for our kids

We don't get post delivered to the house. All of our correspondence goes to a PO Box. That's the only way you can be partly assured that your mail will get to you, and not be dumped in a dustbin somewhere on a street corner. So the only stuff we normally find in the post box at home is junk mail / leaflets. i make a point of it, once a week, to empty it out, otherwise I find leaflets blowing around the garden once the post box overflows.

5 Weeks ago I did this. And lo and behold I discover a Court Summons amongst the trash! Yup - these things are supposed to be delivered to a person resident at the named address, and signed for. It can't just be left in the post box! But, hey, this is South Africa. The laws are mainly to castigate the innocent / or them who might fall foul of the law via minor offenses. Them bastards who deliver the summons, and get paid handsomely for doing so can get away with not following due process. But that's a different discussion, one I intend to take up with whomever is responsible - or via the Citizen - a local daily.

So the summons is for me - to appear in court on the 26 March - for driving a vehicle (registered in my name) at a speed of 105km/h in a 60km/h zone. A serious offense no doubt. Now, I'm not saying I don't go over the speed limit, but I might exceed the limit by 5 - 8 km/h, not 55 km/h!!! Needless to say, it's GMan's car - and in an area where he would have been driving - and in his usual style, flouting the law!

I called on the Public Prosecutor (PP) to see if they couldn't issue a fine? No way she says - we can arrange to limit the fine to R2000, and I would have to explain to the magistrate why I should not have my license suspended for 3 months - New laws - 1st offense = 3 months suspension. 2nd offense = 5 years suspension. 3rd offense = 10 years suspension. Oh, and if you intend to plead guilty, bring cash!!!!

Be at the court by 8.30 am. If you early, come and see me (the PP) and I will make sure your case comes up first. So, this morning I'm up at 5.30am, get done, and get to the courts at 7am. The PP arrives at 7.45. I'm first, we chat, she says I will be called up first. Court sessions start at 9am, or as soon as the magistrate decides to start! WTF?!?!? I go outside and have a smoke - or two.

Eventually, at 9.40, the PP comes through, (accompanied by a colleague, who it turns out, is on duty today) and we enter the court room. By now we are more than 15 people waiting. The magistrate arrives after 10am. Apologies for not sitting in the appropriate chair, but rather on the floor with the rest of us mere mortals, as he does not seem to be able to open the door to the area that he is supposed to be in!!!!

And so the circus starts. And i am not first up. As it pans out, maybe better so, as i quickly learn his manner, and rework my whole response to accommodate him, his arrogant manner, and the fact that I have no intention of coming back for a follow up trial.

I was going to say:-
I don't remember the trip. It could / could not be my car. The photo is not a good one. I may / may not have been aware of the speed limit in the area. I may / may not have been driving. etc, etc, etc.

Turns out he's full of shit. And was not listening to reason / explanation. And if you didn't "comply" he postponed the hearing to a later date, pending further investigation and representation. I figured "Take this one on the chin, get the fuck out of here"!

So I eventually said:-
I am guilty. I make this statement of my own free will. I was aware of the speed limit. I was traveling at the recorded speed. I had no legal reason to be doing so. I was late. I apologies to the court and the state and request leniency.
- Guilty - Fine is R2000.00 or 20 days! Can you afford this?
- Yes I can.
- OK - the bailiff (some dumb fat cop who couldn't keep an eye on his shoes, never mind a dangerous criminal like me who might be planning to escape) will take you downstairs to make payment.
- Now for the second part of the sentence - do you want to make a statement - under oath - regarding a reason why I should not implement the suspension of your driving license for 3 months?

Cross the floor - take up position in the "official" box, do the whole swearing in thing, and tell him that if I can't drive, I can't work - and then basically (Not in so many word) I'm fucked!!

OK, so he didn't suspend the license, problem is I have had my first warning, so if I am ever in a similar position, I get a 5 year suspension!!!!

I go to the bailiff, and we start to leave. It then dawns on me that I have a total sum of R1870 in my wallet! I was planning to stop at a filling station on the way in to draw some cash from an ATM, and forgot. Now I'm fucked. They wont let you leave the building till you pay. They don't take cheques / Credit card / Debit card. Here, cash is king!!! So, call a mate at Absa - not in. Call a colleague who might be at Absa - Not there. Call LuckyL - he's on his way into the city (Thank you!!!!) and will come round with the R150 I need. First he needed to find an ATM, then come through the city, robots and all, and eventually got to the courts. Probably didn't take more than 20 minutes - but I aged a year!!! He gave me the money, the bailiff took me downstairs where I made the payment, and I could leave.

Can anyone see the number plate here?
 between receiving the summons, and going to court, I got hold of someone at the AARTO offices, and requested a copy of the photo.
This is what I got! I immediately went back to him, and asked how the hell they could say it was my car? You can't see the number plate? And he came back with this:-
I have covered part of the number to protect the innocent.
So here's my next question, not yet posed to the AARTO guys, but will do so soon. How do they do that? What software do they have access to that can strip a layer off of a 2 d photo? Anyone out there have any ideas? The note in the middle says "No number plate image", yet they managed to "find" one. Is this a case of "retrofitting a number plate to suit"?

Any feed back will be appreciated.



A Daft Scots Lass said...

Is it your car?

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

Well, it's a white Volkswagen Passat - and the numberplate - after they "did something" is mine - but who knows?


Jayne said...

Have you spoken to GMan to confirm that it was him driving that night? If it was, then:
1) He gets a bitch slap from me for driving 105km in a 60kmph limit. Not funny & if he has a valid excuse, it really does have to be GOOD!
2) If he's guilty, he needs to pay you back & then some, for the hassle he put you through.
3) I'd strongly suggest GMan gets the or a car registered in his own name!

I dunno how the filth get definition from such crappy photos, but it seems like they've got some pretty staunch technology available.

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

@Jayne - it was him. I'll hold him, you can slap him!
No excuse, just stupid.
It's added to his "I owe dad" list... A very long one!
he no longer has a car.......
Seriously staunch technology. A mate in Oz says he might be able to do the same. Need to get a copy of the photo first.