Proof of payment. Some off the amount paid into the police officers account

Johannesburg -

The Hawks are investigating a police officer for corruption after he allegedly solicited bribes from a Joburg businessman, claiming that the cash was for the victim’s protection.

The businessman, who may not be identified, runs a truck-repair firm in Langlaagte.

He claimed he had paid the policeman more than R22 000.

On Wednesday, Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko confirmed investigations against the officer were at an advanced stage, but said no arrest had been made.

Bank statements that The Star has seen seem to show electronic payments ranging between R500 and R1 000 were made between November 2012 and last month.

The businessman appears sometimes to have made electronic payments twice a day.

He claimed the captain started demanding money from him in 2012 after he was arrested for holding a man at gunpoint.

He said that after the charges had been dropped because the case was weak, the officer started coming to his business premises and demanding money.

“When I asked him what this money was for, he told me I had better give him the money or I would get arrested again. He said the money was for my protection,” the businessman said.

The businessman said he had laid a charge of corruption against the police officer in addition to an intimidation charge.

He laid the intimidation charge after the policeman stormed his office on Monday morning and demanded money.

The policeman denied receiving money from the businessman. “There are cases against that man. He does not want to get arrested. He is not paying me any money for protection… He can hire a bodyguard if he needs protection, I can’t protect him.”

Later, he referred questions to his attorney, Salem Ibrahim, who said his client had received payments in lieu of damage to his car sent in to the businessman for repairs last year.

Ibrahim would not be drawn into explaining why the electronic payments into his client’s account started in 2012.

He said the Hawks officer who was investigating his client was the complainant’s close friend.

“I’m going to open a case against this officer, I’m going to get him arrested for corruption. That’s a travesty of justice,” Ibrahim said.

The businessman confirmed that the officer had brought his BMW in for repairs in August.

An invoice The Star has seen shows that the officer paid R8 000 for the repairs to his car.

But the businessman said the officer had come back in January and demanded the money, saying he was not happy with his work.

“After making a few payments of R3 000 to him, I decided this was absolute nonsense, he was still continuing with his blackmailing tactics. I reported him to The Hawks,” he said.

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The Star