Cape Town - Police have opened an investigation into corruption allegations against two of their own who allegedly framed an Uber driver and forcefully solicited R500 from him to avoid arrest.
Burundian national Assumani Ncahuturi had finished cleaning his car in Constitution Street in the city when a police vehicle pulled up behind him.
“They told me to get out and step one metre away from my car, then they proceeded to search the car. They asked me what I was doing here, and asked me to provide my ID and driving licence."
“I told them I am an Uber driver; they asked what that is. I told them it is a taxi company,” he said.
Upon searching the car, the two male officers allegedly presented him with a small packet of dagga, which they said they had found in his car.
“I was completely shocked. They asked me what is this, and I said I do not know,” said the 42-year-old.
Ncahuturi said the dagga was not his, and he was sure it did not belong to a passenger as he had just cleaned the car prior to the incident.
The father-of-two was then told to follow the officers to the police station.
“Midway they stopped again and said they forgot something. They told me to step out of the vehicle again,” he said.
At this point, said Ncahuturi, his wallet was removed from his pocket and searched.
“There they saw the only R500 I had with me. They then told me I can forget about this R500 or go to court tomorrow and pay R3000. To rescue myself I forgot the R500,” he said.
Ncahuturi said the incident had left him traumatised.
“Police are supposed to help victims, I cant believe what they did,” he said.
Ncahuturi did not get the officers' names or their vehicle's registration number, but said he remembered their faces clearly.
In a statement, Uber said they were offering the driver support and working with the police to investigate the matter.
“Uber is deeply committed to the safety of driver-partners on the Uber app. Immediately upon hearing of this situation, Uber reached out to the driver-partner to offer support. Our incident response team, who are trained to deal with any issues, are investigating the allegation and are working with the authorities to resolve this incident,” said Uber.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a corruption case had been registered at Cape Town Central police station, and was being investigation by the Anti- Corruption Unit. No one has yet been arrested.