Johannesburg – The credibility of law enforcement authorities during the current national lockdown has been dealt yet another blow after six police officers were arrested for allegedly stealing almost R40 000 from a passing car during a roadblock in Pretoria.
The six members of the SA Police Service are accused of robbing R37 900 from a car that was searched as part of a lockdown operation on Saturday, according to Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.
“It is alleged that the officers stopped a vehicle which had three occupants and requested a travelling permit which the occupants didn’t have. A bribe of R100 was paid to the officers so that the car can pass the roadblock. The officers also proceeded to search the car and in the process and took the money,” Mazibuko said.
The six cops were later caught in possession of the money following a sting operation.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the officers also demanded bribes from other motorists who failed to provide the correct documentation including travelling permits,” Mazibuko said.
The accused appeared before the Bronkhorstpruit Magistrate Court on Monday and are currently out on a R7000 bail each.
They are scheduled to appear in court on June 26.
This comes as police officers are accused of fraudulently issuing operating and travel permits to people who wanted to trade or travel between municipalities and provinces.
Since the start of the lockdown, law enforcement officers have also been accused of a brutality which has seen a number of people dying at their hands.
Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela said harsh action would be taken against police officers who engage in illegal activities during the lockdown.
“We will not hesitate to arrest and we will continue our members who engage in criminal activities. These members have shown that they are criminals and we will treat them as such. We cannot afford to have criminals who disguise in our uniform and badges while committing their illegal deeds,” he said.
Earlier this month, three Tshwane metro police officers were arrested after accepting a R1500 bribe from a taxi owner in exchange for the release of a taxi driver who was arrested for contravening lockdown regulations.
The taxi owner later lodged a complaint against the officers which resulted in the three cops being nabbed.
By Siviwe Feketha