Police vehicles patrol the Westbury following the shooting of innocent people during gang turf wars. File picture: Timothy Bernard/Africa News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Two allegedly corrupt Sophiatown police officers have been arrested by a task team deployed in Westbury, for defeating the ends of justice in connection with a murder, South African Police Service (SAPS) said on Thursday.

SAPS Spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said Warrant Officer Wynand Steyn, 45, and Sergeant Tom Keet, 42, and another suspect were arrested on Wednesday following the murder of 21-year-old Bradley Saul who was gunned down while walking in Westbury on July 24.

"The police officers are alleged to have concealed crucial evidence after having arrived first on the scene and the fifth suspect are expected to appear in court on Thursday. The State will oppose any efforts by the accused to apply for bail," said Naidoo.

Naidoo said the arrest of the two police officers brings the total number of suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Saul to seven.

"On Friday four suspects were arrested in connection with Sauls murder. Taiton Palmer (73), Dennis Oliphant (25), Desmond Oliphant  (37) and Keenan Ebrahim (34) appeared in Court on Monday and they have all been remanded in custody until October 18," said Naidoo.

The Minister of Police Bheki Cele and the National Commissioner of Police General Khehla John Sitole visited the community last week following complaints of drug dealing, corruption and crime in general.

Cele welcomed the arrests: “The SAPS is a leading role player in the criminal justice system. We can neither afford nor tolerate any unethical behaviour or corrupt members within our ranks. Corruption undermines the rule of law and severely undermines the dignity and safety of our people."

"Police officers who engage in corruption are even worse than criminals on the streets because they betray the very people who have entrusted them with the power to deal with criminals and erode the hope and trust that our people have in government," said Cele.

“We thank the community of Westbury for standing up against drug and gang-related violence. We further call on all communities to report acts of crime whenever such manifest. We can only promise the community that no information provided to us will be ignored. It is time that we partnered in the declaration of war not only against rogue street criminals but also against corrupt officials who aid in the proliferation of crime," said Cele.

African News Agency/ANA