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Two Tshwane metro police officers have been arrested for allegedly robbing a Durban man of more than R500 000 at gunpoint on Tuesday evening.
Fahim Essack opened a docket with the police claiming the officers stole half the cash he had in his car when they arrested him for allegedly speeding.
Essack was travelling from the Beit Bridge border post back to Durban with close to R1 million in the boot of his car. He said customers buying from his rice business paid him in cash.
Just before 10pm on Tuesday, he was pulled over on the N1 by two Tshwane metro police officers, in uniform but in an unmarked vehicle.
He admitted he had been speeding and the officers claimed he was doing 169km/h. They searched his vehicle and discovered the cash in the boot.
“When (the officer) saw there was money, he called his partner and they said they needed to get the other units involved – the money laundering units,” Essack said.
One officer travelled with Essack to the police station, while the other drove the police car.
After a while, the officer in the police car pulled over and said he had been told by his commanding officer to count the money.
While he counted, Essack said he saw the officer hiding cash behind the seat of the car.
When he confronted him, the officer said they were going to take half the money.
“I told him not to be ridiculous, that it was not my money and that I was just working for the company. He tried to negotiate with me but I told him there was no way,” he said.
That’s when Essack claims one of the officers cocked his gun and threatened him.
“Under those circumstances, I had no option. I had to get into my car and drive off,” he said.
The junior officers were arrested late yesterday afternoon at the Tshwane metro police headquarters in WF Nkomo Street (formerly Church) when the police had completed their preliminary investigation.
The sergeants were called in and confronted.
Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba confirmed the officers, aged 28 and 30, had been arrested. They had been working for the city’s law enforcement department for almost seven years.
They would soon receive letters of intention to suspend and have the opportunity to explain why they should not be suspended.
Both officers are due to appear in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Monday and face charges of corruption and armed robbery. They will be held at the Hammanskraal police station over the weekend.
Mahamba said they had yet to find out where the officers had hidden the cash.
- Pretoria News