12 South African Police Service (SAPS) officers, including a reservist, have been arrested for allegedly violating lockdown regulations, as well as for corruption.
“The arrest of our own is both disheartening and at the same time, pleasing, in a sense that it shows that the South African Police Service (SAPS) remains unbiased, as well as that it has the capacity and the capability to decisively deal with criminality within its ranks,” National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole, said on Monday.
SAPS shamed by rogue officers
In the first incident, five members, including a police reservist attached to the Namahadi Police Station in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State, were arrested for allegedly drinking alcohol at a local tavern.
They managed to evade arrest on Saturday. However, they were later arrested on Sunday when they reported for duty.
A 44-year-old tavern owner was also arrested on the same day for violating the regulations on the prohibition of the sale of liquor.
“All liquor was seized and the tavern shut down. The police officials will be charged with defeating the ends of justice and failing to enforce and adhere to the National Disaster Management Regulations,” the SAPS said.
In the second incident, six members attached to the Brooklyn and Silverton Police Stations in Pretoria were arrested on Saturday for allegedly stealing more than R30 000 from a group of people passing through a road block.
According to reports, members initially demanded a bribe of R100, after realising that the driver of a sedan and two passengers were not in possession of the required documentation. The money was allegedly stolen after the sedan was searched at the said road block.
All six were arrested after they were found in possession of the money and they are currently being detained at a local police station.
Punishment faced by officers for breaking lockdown laws
In the third incident, a member was detained after he held a gathering at the police barracks in Soshanguve.
“While all members face criminal charges, internal departmental processes within the Service will follow.
“Fighting corruption and restoring the integrity of the Service remains a top priority for police management. The arrest of our own will send a stern warning to all men and women in blue, as well as all law enforcement agencies, to steer clear of criminality and corruption at all times,” said the SAPS.
The arrests of the police officers, said the SAPS, is indicative of its commitment to the fight against corruption.