Wednesday, October 28, 2020

South Africa: 13 cops arrested over alleged bribery, corruption

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Thirteen police officers have been arrested in the Western Cape this week in a series of busts for alleged bribery and corruption, with two cases involving cigarettes.

On Wednesday, three police constables – aged 27, 33 and 34 – were arrested in Khayelitsha for corruption. It is alleged the members took a bribe from an e-hailing services driver in Cape Town after they accused him of operating illegally, said Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

They appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today and were granted bail.

Meanwhile, in Paarl East, two constables and a sergeant appeared at the Paarl Magistrate’s Court today for bribery. The arrests emanate from an incident where the police officials are alleged to have demanded money from a businessman who allegedly sold cigarettes during the lockdown period.

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“The businessman was promised immunity from arrest if he paid a stipulated  amount to the members. He turned down the offer and advised the police officials to take the consignment of cigarettes.

“They left with the cigarettes but later booked in the consignment as abandoned. In an operation, the three were arrested last night  and appeared in court today,” Potelwa said.

On Wednesday, seven members attached to the National Intervention team, deployed in Cape Town as part of Operation Lockdown, were arrested for corruption after an incident last Thursday, where the police took a consignment of cigarettes from a store they had raided in Bellville.

“The police members are alleged to have arranged to meet with the owner elsewhere and offered to give the cigarettes back in exchange for cash. Their offer was turned down and the owner reported the matter to the Bellville police,” Potelwa said.

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The seven, aged between 28 and 48 – comprising two warrants officers, three sergeants and a constable – appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of corruption.

Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata has decried the involvement of police in crime.

“It is disheartening that the very same people entrusted to uphold the law get involved in crime. We will not be deterred in cleaning up this organisation,” said Matakata.

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