Durban – A Durban metro policeman and a policewoman based at the Phoenix SAPS are behind bars for allegedly stealing gaming chips to the value of R100 000 from Sibaya Casino.
They were arrested while getting into their vehicle, which was allegedly reported to have been involved in a crime in the Bellair area in 2016.
Metro police spokesperson Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed that a 36-year-old policeman based at the Outer West unit had been arrested.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Durban North police arrested two suspects in their 40s for theft and possession of suspected stolen property.
She said they will appear in the Verulam Magistrates Court on Thursday.
This comes after three policemen and a policewoman stationed at Inanda SAPS were charged with kidnapping, extortion, pointing of a firearm, theft of a cellphone and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm last Thursday.
According to a police statement, they allegedly kidnapped two people from Springfield business park and took them to a truck yard where they demanded R50000 each from them. When one of the victims was released to fetch the money, he used the opportunity to contact the police.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the arrest served as a warning to those engaging in criminal activities while hiding behind the police badge.
“Disciplinary investigations will be initiated. Such criminal behaviour will not be condoned,” Gwala said.
Sewpersad said two metro policewomen were out on R500 bail after demanding a R200 bribe from a motorist in the Durban CBD recently.
“The motorist called the police, who responded promptly and made the arrests. We will not tolerate misconduct. We want to eliminate rogue police officers. It is also a strong message to the public not to break the law by offering police officers bribes. Both matters are being investigated internally and disciplinary processes will follow. They also face criminal charges,” Sewpersad said.
Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said corruption was an inherent problem in the SAPS. He said that when the police service embarked on a campaign to expand its numbers from 100000 officers to 155000 between 2001 and 2010, it opted for quantity instead of quality.
“There were huge problems with the police structures, where commanders were not qualified and were incapable of rooting out corruption. Jackie Selebi was jailed and Riah Piyega was fortunate to go into retirement. When Johan Booysen was investigating corrupt officers, the police management opted to remove him instead,” he said.
However, Burger said he had seen change in terms of new integrity management units being set up within the police.
“Bheki Cele and Cyril Ramaphosa have made it clear that they will not tolerate corruption. There are some positive and promising developments that we must appreciate.
“This could be a new direction the police are taking,” he said.
A further sign of change, Burger said, was that police officers were arresting police officers.
“There are dedicated and honest police officers. There are promising signs by the police to fight and put structures in place,” he said.
Myan Moodley, general manager at Sibayo Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, confirmed the incident. “All of our surveillance equipment functioned according to form and we have offered assistance to SAPS in their investigation,” he said.
Source: Daily News