Two members of South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Hawks, and a Hillbrow police detective have been arrested for a robbery attack that fetched them R1-million each.
The three were arrested by the Hawks in Gauteng on Tuesday after allegations emerged in September that four police officials in two cars had stopped a driver in Norwood.
“They said the man was driving recklessly. The driver then insisted on proceeding to the nearest police station‚” Mulamu said.
“He was hauled to Norwood police station‚ where a search was conducted and (police found) two boxes full of cash‚ including a receipt indicating the total amount which the victim had exchanged for his employer,” says the Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu‚ a fourth suspect is on the run.
Explaining further how the robbery attack was carried out, Malamu said the cops then took the man to the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court building in Eloff Street‚ where they offloaded the cash and divided it among themselves inside an office. A small share was handed to the driver.
Warrant officer Tefo Maimane (49)‚ warrant officer Eric Melaphi (41)‚ both attached to the Hawks Serious Commercial Crimes Unit‚ and the Gauteng Hawks boss Major General Prince Mokotedi said he was disappointed at the report that his own members were involved in crime as big as this.
The two hawks members appeared in court briefly on Tuesday‚ alongside detective constable Khumbulo Gadivhana (36) from Hillbrow SAPS. The matter was postponed to December 27 for a formal bail application to be heard at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.
“Since we implemented a zero tolerance to corruption‚ we have arrested hundred and two (102) police officials in Gauteng from March 2016 to date. The Serious Corruption Investigation Unit was beefed up with eighteen members and we are now reaping the fruits of arresting corrupt individuals‚” Mokotedi said, congratulating the arresting officers for their courage.
“I want to warn unscrupulous members that we will not relax until the Hawks, particularly in Gauteng‚ gets rid of all the bad elements. The blue wall is greatly impeding our success to tackle organised crime. Once broken‚ our progress to bust crime syndicates will be accelerated,” Mokotedi added.
This comes amid growing calls on the South African Police Service to address the issue of gross misappropriation of fund in the department.
Last week, the SAPS was highly criticised for using millions of taxpayers money to purchase bulletproof vests.
The police department claims that the purchase of the new vest was to replace the currently used vest which according to reports, weigh more much heavier at 8.2kg, than the new vests which weigh just 4.2kg.
An investigative body has been set up to look into the R6.7 million purchase.