No South African battered by mayhem and murder would be surprised to learn that even the top cops cook their stations' books to make their bosses think they have reduced crime in their areas.
But the brass sitting in their ivory towers seem blissfully unaware of this simple expedient that unmotivated, overworked, undertrained, under-performing and underpaid cops on the ground have been using for years.
Many South Africans no longer even try to report crimes. They know grumpy desk cops will do absolutely nothing about "minor" theft, muggings and road accidents, but treat them as offenders for disturbing their siestas.
Even the most improved police station appears to have been bust in this subterfuge.
Tzaneen moved from the 600th spot to the top-performing station by the simple expedient of under-reporting crimes.
Assistant Commissioner Khazamula Phineas Ngoveni says disgruntled staff merely recorded murder cases as inquests, housebreakings as trespassing and ignored a host of other cases.
When will the folks who run our public service learn the futility of asking our bureaucrats to rank themselves rather than consulting the citizens who know better than anyone that they receive almost none of the tax-funded services they've been promised.