Police officers took an oath to defend and protect South Africans, yet they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Four suspects, three police officers and a civilian, will be appearing in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges of corruption following their arrest by the Hawks' Serious Corruption unit on Saturday.
The Hawks confirmed that the four, two members from the Silverton K9, a member from Crime Intelligence and a businessman are reported to have participated in corrupt activities when they solicited gratification to the tune of R580 000.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said this was for a complainant to avoid arrest.
“It is alleged that three officials went to the complainant's residence to enquire about her passport and the alleged fraudulent stamps.
“They later arrested her and during questioning, hints relating to the case being dropped if money exchanged hands were uttered by the trio.
“They had asked for R1 million compounded with threats that her son would also be arrested. The complainant gave in, and R580 000 was agreed to, resulting in the complainant being released,” said Mogale.
A case of corruption was then reported to the DPCI and after completion of the investigation, the four were arrested.
Meanwhile, a 39-year-old traffic officer was arrested after a complainant, who owns trucks, reported to the Hawks that there is a traffic officer in Bethlehem, Free State, who persistently harassed his drivers, demanding money.
Recently, this traffic officer had allegedly pulled over the complainant's truck for inspection and issued the driver with a traffic fine.
He demanded that the driver pay him an amount of R1 200 for him not to impound the truck.
During an operation held on October 20, he was apprehended while in possession of the entrapment money in his vehicle.
The suspect will appear in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court today (Monday) on charges of corruption.
Free State Hawks head Major General Mokgadi Bokaba commended the Serious Corruption Investigation team for a job well done and for squeezing the space for corrupt law enforcement officers.
Last month, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed that 7 000 police officers had in the last five years been arrested for various crimes, including murder, rape and kidnapping.
Out of the more than 7 000 officers charged for various crimes, 686 were successfully prosecuted in court by the National Prosecuting Authority.
He said in the 2019/20 financial year 56 police officers were charged with murder, in 2020/21 a total of 80 officers were charged with murder, in 2021/22 a total of 49 officers faced murder charges and in the 2022/23 period 35 officers were charged with murder.