Limpopo detective convicted after being paid R11 900 to make drugs case disappear
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Pretoria – Tlabo Ezekiel Maputla, aged 53, who was a former warrant officer with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo has been convicted for corruption by the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes court.
Maputla who was stationed at SAPS Westernburg as a detective was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation members in Polokwane on October 13, 2020 for extorting money from a person who had been arrested for dealing in drugs "in order to make his docket disappear", according to Hawks Limpopo spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke.
“The victim paid R6 000 in the past but Maputla kept on pestering and demanding more money until the matter was reported to the Hawks. Maputla was netted in broad daylight at Polokwane city after receiving a further R5 900 from the victim,” said Maluleke.
Maputla is currently out on R5 000 bail and his case was postponed to November 12 for sentencing.
In July, three police officers were arrested in Johannesburg for possession of at least 552 bricks of cocaine with an estimated street value of R200 million which was stashed in a police vehicle, a Nissan bakkie.
“A police vehicle from SAPS Booysens responded swiftly to a complaint of a suspected hijacked cargo truck at Aeroton business premises in Johannesburg. Upon arrival, police found a black Nissan bakkie parked with 23 big bags containing cocaine with an estimated street value of R200 million,” SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili said at the time.
“Upon interviewing the driver of the bakkie, it was discovered that he is a police warrant officer attached to Zonkezizwe police station and that the bakkie is a state vehicle. He was placed under arrest on the scene together with his three accomplices, another police warrant officer attached to National Investigative Unit, a Gauteng chief traffic officer and a civilian.”
The police seized 552 bricks of cocaine and four vehicles – a grey BMW, a Volkswagen GTI, a Kia Cerato and the Nissan bakkie. An amount of R60 000 in cash was also seized.