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Cape Town - Two Khayelitsha police officers have pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption for allegedly trying to extort money from two off-duty law enforcement officers.
Former police reservist Gugulethu Rasmeni and Constable Lungile Michael denied corruption and extortion during two instances in 2011.
It is the State’s case that Michael stopped Ally Mvuza May in Khayelitsha in August 2011 while he was driving home. May was informed that he would be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, but to avoid prosecution, he should give the officer some money.
May said he had only R200 in his possession and allegedly handed it to Michael. “May was not further detained or formally arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol,” the charge sheet reads.
During the early hours of November 1, 2011, the two officers were patrolling in the Khayelitsha area.
They allegedly stopped Thabang Charlton Moses and May, who were off-duty law enforcement officers at the time, who were on their way to Mandalay around 2.30am.
Moses was asked to get out of the car because he was driving without his headlights on.
The State alleges that while Michael did most of the talking during the transactions, Rasmeni was present during the conversations between the men and therefore acted in common purpose when the offences were committed.
The officers allegedly told Moses he was driving drunk. Half a bottle of alcohol was also found in the car. The car keys, a cellphone and driving licence card were confiscated and the men were informed that they would be taken to jail.
But the officers allegedly approached them in the back of the police van, saying that if they paid R600, they would be released.
Moses, however, did not have the money on him.
The officers allegedly then drove the men to an ATM at a petrol station in Mandalay to draw the money.
Moses and May reported the incident and the men were later arrested.
Rasmeni told the court on Friday that he disputed an alleged confession taken down by investigating officer Colonel Johan Marais.
He said he was not informed of his rights, which included that an interpreter could be present during the consultation, and that the charges were never put to him.