File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

RUSTENBURG - Five police officers have been arrested in separate incidents of alleged corruption, North West police said on Friday.

Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said they were arrested on Thursday, by the provincial anti-corruption investigation unit in Jouberton, Klerksdorp and Vryburg.

"In the first case, a 52-year-old warrant officer attached to [the] Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit (VCIU) was arrested on the morning of Thursday, 11 July 2019. It is alleged that the warrant officer solicited R3 000 from the owner in exchange for [the] releasing of a vehicle that was seized in January for enquiry," Mokgwabone said.

"Consequent to [the] R800 payment to the suspect, the matter was reported to the police for investigation. The suspect was arrested and briefly appeared in the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court. He was granted R2 000 bail and will re-appear in court on Thursday, 15 August 2019."

In the second case, two police officers working at the Khuma police station were arrested on allegations that they took R1 500 from a motorist in January this year.

"According to information available at this stage, a motorist was driving his vehicle when he knocked down a pedestrian in January 2019. At the time of the incident, the matter was not reported to the police as it was apparent that the pedestrian was not injured," Mokgwabone said.

"However, upon realising that she was injured, the pedestrian reported the incident to the police. The suspects who are both constables traced and found the motorist in Khuma. They allegedly demanded R2 000 and threatened the motorist with arrest and seizure of his vehicle. In order to avoid the arrest, the motorist allegedly gave R1 500 to the suspects." 

They appeared in the Stilfontein Magistrate's Court and were each granted R500 bail. Their case was postponed to July 24.

"In the third case of corruption, two members aged 39 and 49, working at Vryburg police station were also arrested on the morning of Thursday, 11 July 2019. The suspects briefly appeared in the Atamelang Magistrates' Court where they were granted R2 000 bail each.  They are expected to appear again in the same court on Wednesday, 21 August 2019," Mokgwabone said.

The two allegedly demanded and took R600 and R700 from tuckshop owners in Madibogo village in October 2018. 

"It is alleged that the pair conducted inspections for expired goods at two tuck-shops in the village. Although they did not find expired goods on the shelves, the suspects, a warrant officer and reserve constable demanded payments from the tuck-shop owners on condition that they will not be arrested."

He said in a bid to root out corruption in the police service, three police officers have been served with written notice to appear in court on charges of corruption. 

"Furthermore, departmental investigations have been instituted against all the members in terms of South African Police Service (SAPS) Discipline Regulations, 2016,"  he said.

North West Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane said all police officers were bound by the SAPS Code of Conduct to serve and protect as well as to act with integrity when performing their duties.

"We are definite that the arrests will serve as a caution that corruption cannot be tolerated and that alleged perpetrators will be dealt with effectively," she said.

African News Agency (ANA)