The one-hour-late arrival of 23 bogus new recruits who appeared confused about the proceedings blew the lid on the scandal when alert JMPD officers immediately became suspicious.
The bogus trainees were dropped off at the JMPD academy in Booysens in an officially marked JMPD vehicle an hour after training had started.
When asked for their papers, they were immediately identified as fraudulent, which led to the arrest of a female SAPS officer stationed in Protea Glen in Soweto and a male examiner from Aganang municipality in Polokwane at the weekend.
The new recruits had each paid R10000 for the jobs plus R200 for a fraudulent medical certificate.
The jobs were advertised in June and the 1500 new recruits started training in October. They were selected from about 20500 applicants.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said: “I was informed that when the existing recruits reported for duty last week, they were joined by the 23 youths who had fallen victim to the scam, and who arrived an hour late.
“Upon their arrival, they produced fake appointment certificates which stated their salaries and the team they would be working with,” he said.
The city’s group forensic and investigation services (GFIS) department and a team from the SAPS were called in to assist in questioning and taking down statements from the scam victims.
“They all confirmed that they never received any form of training and had paid R10200 to the suspects. Most of them come from Limpopo and slept at the home of one of the suspects in Protea Glen.
“The victims of the scam pointed out the suspects, who were arrested over the weekend.”
The mayor added: “I am disappointed that a JMPD-marked vehicle was used to transport the bogus recruits to the academy. This is a clear indication that someone from JMPD is involved in this scam.
“Just imagine the danger our citizens and fellow 1500 officers, who were recruited during an intensive process, would have faced being in the same space with these individuals who never received any form of training in policing.”
Lucky Sindane, the city’s director of strategic stakeholder management for the GFIS, said the pair appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The case was postponed to March 19 and they were released on R3000 bail each.
Sindane said all 1500 recruits’ records would be re-examined to ascertain if they had “bought” their jobs.
“More victims came forward at the court hearing. It appears this has been going on for years,” he said.