In an effort to root out corruption among its ranks, the SAPS in Western Cape arrested 13 police officials in a series of busts this week.
On Wednesday, 30 April 2020 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. They appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court and were granted bail.
Meanwhile in Paarl East, two constables and a sergeant appeared on 30 April 2020, at the Paarl Magistrate’s court 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. 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 and appeared in court.
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, 23 April 2020, 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 Bellville police.
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.
Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel 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,” says Lt General Matakata.
South Africa Today – South Africa News