Two Northern Cape cops who tried to milk the situation during the Covid-19 situation by extorting money from a woman pensioner have been sentenced to direct imprisonment.
Sergeant Stanley Beukes, 37, and Constable Thapelo Semamai, 26, were convicted this week of corruption by the Upington Regional Court.
They were sentenced to an effective two years behind bars.
The provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks), Lieutenant Colonel Tebogo Thebe, said that on April 17, 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the duo stopped a woman pensioner driving around in the Upington area.
"The two officers demanded a Covid-19 travel permit. The senior citizen did not have the permit, and officials demanded R200 gratification so that they can issue her with a permit.
"A payment of R200 was made as agreed, and the complainant thereafter visited Upington police station to open a case of corruption," he said.
Thebe said the matter was referred to the Hawks for investigation.
He said in addition to a criminal case, the South African Police Services subjected both employees to an internal disciplinary process.
Both cops were fired.
The acting provincial head of the Hawks, Brigadier Prince Mashimbye, expressed his satisfaction with the conviction.
"If we are to win this fight, we have to start cleaning our house first," said Mashimbye.