The Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, welcomes the arrest of ten police officials in the Free State for alleged corruption.
These arrests are as a result of a joint operation involving members of the Hawks and the South African Police Service, in an on-going crime intelligence driven operation, to combat cross-border crime at the Ficksburg port of entry into Lesotho/South Africa.
During the ongoing investigation, the team received information that some of our members were involved in extorting money from Lesotho nationals that don’t have the correct documentation and in some cases assisted these nationals to cross the border without the correct documentation required. During the duration of the investigation, officials were observed and it then became evident that our own were implicated. Following an intensive investigation, the members were swiftly arrested on Wednesday morning.
Apart from the ten police officials arrested, officials from the Department of Home Affairs are also part of those apprehended.
The arrested officials face charges relating to corruption and racketeering. A total of 18 people have been arrested.
Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane applauded the team for effecting the arrests of their own colleagues, with a view of uprooting criminality within the organisation.
“The arrest of our own is both disheartening and pleasing at the same time because this gives us an opportunity to identify the corrupt elements within the system. Other members should draw lessons from this, and this should serve as a deterrence within our organisation to those officials who may be involved in corrupt-related activities. ” said Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.
It is worth noting that, we are seeing a reduction of police officials that are arrested in relation to corrupt-related activities. For the financial year 2016/2017, which is now coming to an end, 706 members had been arrested with a view of uprooting criminality within the organisation.
In the 2015/2016 financial year,the number was slightly higher with 725 officials arrested. This bears testament to the fact that, the Integrity Management section that has been established in this financial year to amongst others deal with police conduct, is bearing fruit.
The South African Police Service, has a workforce of 195 000 personnel across all nine provinces. It is worth noting, that only a fraction of the entire workforce has been involved in corrupt-related activities.
As management , we remain concerned with the involvement of our members in criminal activities, contrary to the provisions of the code of conduct of the South African Police Service, which all of us have signed. The department views the involvement of any of us in criminal activities in a serious light , thus no stone will be left unturned to apprehend those who make themselves guilty in the commission of crime irrespective of the level and/or position they occupy.
As the South African Police Service we remain committed to ensuring that we prevent, combat and ensure a thorough investigation of crime throughout the country, especially when it involves our own with a view of ensuring that all South Africans are and feel safe. As the South African Police Service we will continue to ensure that we deal accordingly with members that are found to be on the wrong side of the law.
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