Western Cape police arrest 13 of their own members in a week
The officer's attempts to exploit lockdown laws has angered the Provincial Commissioner, who said that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
A total of 13 Western Cape police officers have been arrested in the last week charged with crimes ranging from accepting bribes to trying to sell confiscated cigarettes.
The spike in arrests from within the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) own house has raised alarm bells for Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel Yolisa Matakata.
“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,” he said.
Khayelitsha cops charged with corruption
Several incidents in the last week have seen police having to stick handcuffs on members of their own ranks, with three constables arrested in Khayelitsha on Wednesday 30 April for accepting a bribe from an e-hailing service driver the latest to be remanded on charges of 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. They appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court today and were granted bail,” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.
Two constables and a sergeant appeared in Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, charged with having attempted to bribe a businessman accused of selling cigarettes during lockdown.
“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,” said Potelwa.
‘Operation Lockdown’ members caught selling smokes
Seven “Operation Lockdown” members were arrested for having attempted to sell cigarettes that they had confiscated during a raid at a shop in Bellville on Thursday 23 April.
They are accused of having met up with the owner of the store at a later stage to sell his stock back to him. The owner reportedly refused the offer and they were subsequently arrested.
“All seven members who are aged between 28 and 48, comprising two warrants officers, three sergeants and a constable, were arrested on Wednesday 29 April 2020, and appeared in court on the same day on charges of corruption,” said Potelwa.