Three police officers have been arrested for allegedly trying to extort R5-million from the Ekurhuleni MMC for Human Settlements Lesiba Mpya.
The three are alleged to have tried for five months to extort the money from Mpya after claiming that they were in possession of a dossier containing evidence of alleged corruption and malfeasances committed by him, the City Manager Imogen Mashazi and Mayor Mzwandile Masina.
“The MMC was contacted by one of these police officials and told him of the dossier and that he wants R5-million to make it disappear,” said mayoral spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe.
Police were then roped in to investigate the matter.
"The investigations into the three police officials revealed that they were connected to a string of anonymous WhatsApp messages that went viral in March 2019. The messages made false claims of corrupt activity being undertaken by the Mzwandile Masina and Senior Management staff of the City.
"It was found that messages were being used as an attempt to intimidate Mayor Masina and Mpya into paying their R5 million demand.
“This then led to law enforcement agencies hatching a plan where a bag with money would be used to make the drop off. Once they take the money they would then be arrested,” he said.
An arrangement for the drop was then made where the three fell into the trap and were arrested.
Masina has commended SAPS and Ekurhuleni Metro Police's response to the matter.
Masina said: “I am glad that today, the truth was finally being unveiled on a malicious and incendiary plot to distract this administration from continuing to deliver quality services to our people.
“We are now fast closing in on City Officials and other individuals involved in these unscrupulous acts of corruption and extortion. The City of Ekurhuleni remains steadfast in its zero-tolerance approach to corruption, and we expect to make more arrests in the near future," Masina sais.
The three accused were to appear in court on Thursday afternoon.