Alarm over dirty cop claims

2010-10-05 22:23

Pretoria - The Tshwane community safety department on Tuesday welcomed an investigation into allegations of criminality by some metro police officers in the city.

Member of the mayoral committee Dikeledi Lehobye described the allegations of corruption, assault, torture, and extortion as disturbing and contrary to what her department and the Tshwane metro police stood for.

The SA Police Service and the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) would probe the allegations.

Lehobye was reacting to reports about people who were captured by a syndicate including metro police, beaten and forced to pay before they were freed.

The syndicate reportedly made thousands of rands a night by simply targeting drunk drivers, those using prostitutes and hawkers.

Victims would allegedly then be threatened with arrest, after which they would agree to pay.

They would be driven to ATMs to withdraw money and were released only after payment.

A Zimbabwean victim of torture, 17-year-old Leon Chimuta, was still being sought after he disappeared while in police custody nearly three weeks ago.

Chimuta, his brother James and four others were allegedly tortured for nearly two hours at metro police offices on Vermuelen street.

The men were then allegedly dropped off one-by-one around Diepsloot in the early hours of the morning.

The responsible officers on site were being investigated.

Lehobye said they would fully co-operate with all agencies investigating the allegations to make sure that corrupt individuals were exposed and dealt with accordingly.

"This includes dismissal where warranted," she said.