The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla John Sitole has applauded the hard work and zeal shown by the men and women in blue throughout the country during this unprecedented time which South Africa has been confronted with.
While the greater majority of SAPS members have been hard at work to flatten the curve of the spread of the Covid-19, there have been some members disregarding the regulations as well as committing some heinous crimes thus bringing into disrepute both the SAPS as well as the good work its members are doing.
During this past weekend twelve members including a reservist were arrested in three separate incidents, following their alleged involvement in the violation of National Disaster Management Regulations as well as corruption.
According to national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, In the first incident, five members including a police reservist attached to the Namahadi Police Station in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State Province were arrested after they were allegedly part of a group drinking alcohol at a local tavern on Saturday, 18 April 2020. They initially escaped as members were about to pounce on them. However, they were later arrested yesterday, Sunday, 19 April 2020 as they reported on duty. Pictures of the members being arrested went viral, a moment that SAPS management is not proud of but the arrest was indeed a necessary course of action. The 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.
In the second incident, six members attached to the Brooklyn and Silverton Police Stations in Pretoria were arrested on Saturday, 18 April 2020. This after members of the Mpumalanga Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit received information that the officers had stolen over R30 000 in cash 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 members were arrested after they were found in possession of the money and they are currently being detained at a local police station.
In the third incident, a member was detained after he held a gathering at the police barracks in Soshanguve.
“The officers face criminal charges and internal departmental processes will follow. The arrest of these police officers is indicative of the SAPS commitment in the fight against this pandemic, ”said Naidoo.
The National Police Commissioner General Sitole has welcomed the arrests.
Source: South African Police Service