Hawks arrest senior police officer for extortion and corruption
Johannesburg - The Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit in Germiston on Thursday arrested a 55-year-old police lieutenant-colonel after he was positively linked with extortion and corruption allegations.
The officer is attached to Douglasdale police station.
According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu the arrest is linked to the alleged extortion and corruption which took place at a B&B in Randburg where the officer and his accomplice, Constable Soja Tshabalala, 37, allegedly demanded an amount of R60 000 from the complainant to avoid being arrested on allegations of not complying with SA Revenue Service (Sars) tax regulations and operating an illegal brothel.
“Among the suspects, there were unknown men who introduced themselves as Sars officials. The suspects allegedly threatened to close down the business if the complainant did not meet their demands.
“They allegedly forced the complainant to open his financial accounts on a laptop and they transferred R35 000 to one of the suspects’ bank accounts,” Mulamu said.
Mulamu said the matter was later referred to the Hawks’ office for further investigation and warrants of arrest were issued for the suspects.
“Tshabalala handed himself in at the Hawks’ office last month, appeared in court and has since been remanded in custody. The warrant of arrest was executed for the lieutenant-colonel’s apprehension in his Aspen Hills home, south of Johannesburg.”
Mulamu said the suspect is expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court facing charges of corruption and extortion while the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have warned the public to be on the lookout for imposters.
“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), commonly known as the Hawks, has noted with concern increasing incidents of imposters claiming to be the directorate’s investigators, targeting vulnerable people and demanding money in order to derail investigations.”
This follows the arrest of a 29-year-old suspect who approached an elderly victim in Mpumalanga yesterday at his house.
“The lone suspect produced a fraudulent document bearing a Hawks emblem stating that it was a murder charge withdrawal proof from a Hawks investigation against him. The suspect allegedly demanded R60 000 in order for this to be made a formality.”
The DPCI national head, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, said: “The real Hawks will never demand payment for their services nor to make the case go away. We provide services free of charge. We perform our duties without fear, favour or prejudice.
“Those who solicit payment by promising favours are not our members. Anyone who commits corruption or extortion in our name must expect serious consequences,” Lebeya said.