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Johannesburg - A Durban man has opened a docket with police, claiming that Tshwane metro police officers robbed him of more than R500 000.
Fahim Essack was travelling from one of the delivery areas of his rice business at the Beit Bridge border back to Durban with close to R1 million in the boot of his car.
Essack said his customers paid him in cash.
He admits he was speeding, and that just before 10pm on Tuesday, he was pulled over by two uniformed Tshwane metro police officers in an unmarked vehicle on the N1.
He was told he had been doing 169km/h and was read his rights and informed of his arrest. But when the officers searched his vehicle, they discovered the bags of 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,” said Essack.
“They were very calm about it, and they said they were taking me to the police station,” he said.
One officer travelled with Essack, while the other drove the police car.
But after a few minutes, the officer in the other car pulled over and said that he had been told by the commanding officer to count the money.
While the officer was counting the money, Essack said he saw him hiding it behind the seat of the car.
When he confronted him, the officer said they wanted to take half the money.
“I told him not to be ridiculous, that it was not my money, 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 threatened him with his gun.
“The other officer takes out a gun, and he tells me: ‘Now shut the f*** up and do what we asked you, otherwise we will shoot you and throw you into the bush’,” he said.
“Under those circumstances, I had no option. I had to get into my car and drive off.”
However, he managed to take down the licence plate of the vehicle as he was leaving, and then went to the police and opened a case.
A Tshwane metro police spokesman confirmed that the licence plate number belonged to one of their vehicles.
He also confirmed the vehicle had been on duty on Tuesday night.