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Komatipoort - Four traffic officials and two police officers were arrested on Friday by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation's (Hawks) serious corruption investigation unit in collaboration with the national traffic anti-corruption unit, the Hawks in Mpumalanga said.

Three suspects, Khethiwe Mkhabela, 42, Lucky Mabena, 37, both traffic officials, and David Mahlare Ntuli, 34, a South African Police Service (SAPS) officer were arrested in Malelane and appeared in the Komatipoort Magistrate's Court the same day for alleged corruption, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said on Sunday.

The three men were granted R1000 bail each and would appear in the same court again on July 12, pending further investigations.

Three other suspects, two traffic officials and a SAPS sergeant, who were also arrested later on Friday, would appear in the Middelburg and Belfast magistrates’ courts respectively on Monday. 

"It is alleged that since April this year, the suspects solicited bribes from motorists along the N4, between Komatipoort and Middleburg. The Hawks, together with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), cooperated in gathering evidence against the suspects. 

"It was established during a two month investigation that the suspects were operating with impunity, demanding bribes from unsuspecting tourists, failure of which they would be arrested. More arrests are imminent," Sekgotodi said. 

Mpumalanga Hawks acting head Brigadier Obed Ngwenya welcomed the arrest of the four traffic officials and two police officers. He warned other law enforcement officers to refrain from engaging in any criminal activities, saying the Hawks would not tolerate any unethical behaviour or corrupt law enforcement officers.

“Corruption undermines the rule of law. We are determined to fight corruption wherever and whenever it manifests. We hope the arrest of six members would send a strong message to colleagues that corruption would not be tolerated,” Ngwenya said. 

African News Agency (ANA)