28 January 2014

South Africa: Cape Town's Ghost Squad - Taking Dicers Down On Their Home Turf


As the Daily Maverick has previously reported, Cape Town has an illegal street racing problem. However, all is not lost. A special unit of the Cape Town traffic department known as the Ghost Squad is tasked with clamping down on the city's reckless drivers - and they focus specially on street racers. SHAUN SWINGLER was invited along for the ride.

The Ghost Squad, in existence since 2009, is specialist unit of the Cape Town traffic department with a mandate to reduce road deaths and clamp down on the most serious of traffic violations.

The cars have none of the usual traffic department markings, and look like any other car on the road - except they're fitted with sirens and blue LED lights hidden behind the car's grille and dashboard. All Ghost Squad officers (Ghosts, as they call themselves) are hand-picked, and represent the best of what the traffic department has to offer. They cover an area that stretches from Gordon's Bay to Atlantis.

Our journey begins at Gallows Hill traffic department, the headquarters of the Ghost Squad. My guides for the evening: Traffic Officer Ripepi (29) and Traffic Officer May (37). Our ride for the evening: an underwhelming-looking Volkswagen Passat....

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