The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said it has arrested three women traffic officers who allegedly demanded money from a truck owner.
It is alleged that the traffic officers were conducting a law enforcement operation when they stopped a truck driver between Hennenman and Kroonstad in the Free State.
“Upon inspecting the truck, the officers discovered that some of the tyres were smooth. They then solicited a bribe amounting to R2,000 from the driver in order not to issue a traffic fine,” said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.
“It was at this point that the owner of the truck was contacted to arrange the payment of R2,000 to the officers.”
The truck owner alerted the provincial anti-corruption unit, and the plan was operationalised by members of the crime-busting unit.
“The trio, aged between 43, 44, and 45, were arrested and will appear in the Kroonstad magistrate court to face charges of corruption, defeating the ends of justice, and extortion,” said Zwane.
Two vehicles belonging to the traffic department were handed over to the Kroonstad SAPS for further investigations.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the RTMC, advocate Makhosini Msibi, has welcomed the arrest of the traffic officers.
“Regardless of the outcome in court, the RTMC is urging the local authority to take further steps internally where the accused officers should face disciplinary action from the employer,” he said.
Last month, two members of the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) and a third man, believed to be their accomplice, were arrested and charged with truck hijacking on the R21 highway in Gauteng.
At the time, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD), Lieutenant Colonel Kelebogile Thepa, said the three were members of a truck hijacking syndicate operating on the busy road.
Trouble started for the TMPD officers in their police uniforms when they were spotted along the R21 in Ekurhuleni by alert EMPD officers.
The TMPD officers were travelling in a stolen, grey BMW 3 Series vehicle, which was now fitted with blue police lights.