FOUR constables stationed at the Berea SAPS Crime Prevention Unit appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday following their arrest by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Stanley Shabalala (34), Mesuli Sibeko (26), Lungani Thabede (30) and Mazwi Alli Ngubo (30) appeared on charges of corruption, extortion, assault (torture) and intimidation. They were released on bail of R3 000 each, and their case adjourned to February 7 for a regional court date, IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said yesterday. The complainant alleges that on February 3 last year, he received a call at about 2 pm from a private number, from a person posing as a prospective buyer of the complainant’s vehicle, which had been advertised for sale. The caller allegedly indicated that he was waiting for the complainant at the Workshop shopping centre in central Durban. When the complainant got there, he was arrested and taken in a police van to the Berea SAPS. There he was asked about a person who was allegedly supplying drugs in Durban. It is alleged that the complainant was then assaulted and attempts made to suffocate him. The suspects allegedly demanded money from the complainant in return for his release. He was forced to obtain money from his girlfriend and friends, and a total of R3 000 was handed over to his attackers, the victim alleges. IPID started an investigation after receiving a complaint from the victim. An identification parade was later held and the four suspects were pointed out. On recommendation by the IPID, the Director of Public Prosecutions authorised warrants for the arrest of the suspects, and they were arrested early yesterday morning.