Pretoria - Six Tshwane metro police officers have allegedly attempted to extort money from an employee of the Motor Industry Staff Association, who was accused of drunken driving.
The incident involving the metro police took place recently at a roadblock at the Atterbury offramp of the N1.
According to the association, the driver confessed to having had one glass of wine while the metro police claimed he was drunk.
The metro police couldn’t use a breathalyser to ascertain his state of sobriety because they didn’t have one.
The association’s chief executive Martlé Keyter said after being unsuccessful in transferring money to the cellphone numbers of six officers, the driver had to go to the nearest ATM to withdraw money.
“He went to the Sinoville Police Station where the officers refused to open a case because he did not have the name of the suspect. He was standing in front of the police officers when the corrupt Tshwane metro police officer phoned him from her personal cellphone asking for her money. Still, they did not open a case,” she said.
She said a corruption case was eventually opened the next day at Lyttelton police station confirming that he was involved in an extortion incident.
According to Keyter, the driver’s case is one of many involving the metro police under investigation.
This latest concern about the officers’ unbecoming behaviour was made in the wake of the arrest of two Tshwane metro police two weeks ago for operating in Diepsloot, an area outside their jurisdiction.
Tshwane Metro Police Department members have of late hogged the headlines for facing a spate of allegations of wrongdoings.
The Pretoria News reported last month that the department was accused of employing more than 200 officers with criminal records during the first phase of insourcing of security guards in 2020. Some metro officers were implicated in crimes ranging from bribery to extortion, assault and armed robbery. At least 49 of them had serious charges against them emanating from previous criminal convictions.
The department’s acting chief Basil Nkwashu recently empowered memebers of the public to record possible acts of corruption by metro police in a bid to address corruption in the department.
In terms of the directive, the public can ask for metro police’s appointment certificates, take their photos and vehicle number plates.
Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink backed up the initiative, saying it was important to clean up the department and restore people’s trust in the law-enforcement authority.
Keyter criticised the directive, saying it was bad that Brink had sent out an official letter saying that due to “various complaints of alleged extortion and corruption” by officers, those officers must take note that the public has the right to request their appointment certificates, take photos and make videos.
She said police officials told the association that motorists could refuse to stop when pulled over by the metro police. Motorists must, however, put hazards on and indicate that they are driving to the nearest police station because of their fear to stop for the metro police officers.