“Do you wish to add to or change your statement?”
“Then fill in the date and sign it below.”
I hand the signed document to the major who slips it into a folder and places it on his desk under my hire-car keys, wallet and passport.
“May I open your bag?”
The question is superflouos but I nod anyway then watch as he unzips a side pocket on my rucksack to remove toilet things, clean socks, vests, scants and pack of condoms. He arranges the items neatly beside my passport. Flashing a tight smile he removes the toothpaste cap and sqeezes the contents into a bucket beside his chair. He repeats the exercise with my shaving cream.
“It would surprise you to see what sometimes comes out of toothpaste tubes,” he says binning the empty containers. “I will replace those two items.” The smile leaves his lined face and impassive pale blue eyes stare at me for a long moment. “Persons convicted of a serious drugs offence in this country could spend fifteen years in prison. Even with exemplary behaviour ten years would be the minimum.”
“I did not bring drugs into your country sir.”
“I hope not for your sake Mr. Duvenhage because transportation and possession of cocaine is a very serious offence.” Unzipping the other pocket he removes my stash of chocolate bars, dried fruit, nuts and maps which he places beside a well worn leather bound book on the far side of his desk.