Officer gets two years for extortion

2010-05-28 00:00

A POLICE warrant officer was sentenced to two years without the option of a fine on charges of extortion and corruption, in Durban on Tuesday.

The conviction of Warrant Officer Mandla Nimrod Hlatshwayo is the result of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD)’s campaign to fight misconduct within the South African Police Force.

Between 2008 and 2009 there were about 10 convictions among police officers for murder, attempted murder, assault, rape, improper performance of duties and others in KZN. About 130 officers were convicted in the same period country-wide.

Hlatshwayo committed the offence while he was stationed at KwaMakhutha Police Station in 2007.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said Hlatshwayo and a group of other officers demanded a bribe of R4 000 from a suspect they had arrested for illegally dealing in precious stones.

“The complainant was taken to an ATM and forced to withdraw R1 200, which he paid over to the officers to avoid being detained.

“The arrangement was then made that the police officers would collect the outstanding R2 800 on April 13, 2007,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said the complainant reported the matter to the ICD offices in Durban. This led to Hlatshwayo being arrested following the identity parade. The complainant was only able to identify one officer.

“The complainant was able to identify Warrant Officer Hlatshwayo as one of the officers who were present when he was initially arrested.

“The complainant’s ID book as well as other documents were found in the police vehicle that Warrant Officer Hlatshwayo was driving,” Dlamini said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the sentence means that Hlatshwayo has been automatically dismissed from the police force.

“Our officers are there to uphold the rule of law. Those who choose to engage themselves in criminal activities only have themselves to blame,” Mdunge said.

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