Durban - Four police constables accused of corruption, assault, intimidation and extortion appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Stanley Shabalala, 34, Mesuli Sibeko, 26, Lungani Thabede, 30, and Mazwi Alli Ngubo, 29, were released on R3000 bail each, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate said.
Spokesman Moses Dlamini said a man who advertised his car for sale received a call in February last year from a prospective buyer. The caller told him he was waiting for him at the Workshop shopping centre in Durban.
When the man arrived at the shopping centre, police officers arrested him, took him to the Berea police station and asked him about a person they claimed was supplying him with drugs. The officers allegedly suffocated and assaulted him and demanded money in return for his release. The man's girlfriend paid them R3000.
The four men were expected to appear in court again on February 7.