Police come down hard on their own

2015-07-12 12:25
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Deaan Vivier/Foto24)

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Johannesburg - The SA Police Service on Sunday said it had dismissed 1 442 policemen in the past three financial years.

The officers were dismissed for various criminal and departmental decisions, said National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. 

"To date there are 270 SAPS members that are on suspension - 85 with remuneration and 185 with no remuneration," said Phiyega. 

In one of the latest incidents, a policeman working at the Morebeng police station in Limpopo was arrested for allegedly assisting cigarette smugglers. 

Warrant Officer Peter Mathaka Magugumela appeared in the Sekgosese Regional Court on Monday, where he was released on R3 000 bail. 

"The case against him was remanded to 16 July 2015," said police spokesperson Solomon Makgale. 

Nineteen other police officers have been arrested in Limpopo for alleged shady dealings since December 2014. 

"In December last year... Phiyega, joined a special task team of members of Crime Intelligence and detectives investigating the involvement of the police in distributing illegal cigarettes," said Makgale.

"That operation led to the arrest of the 19 police officers - six warrant officers and 13 constables - after an investigation that lasted almost two years." 

It was alleged that the group was involved in escorting vehicles carrying illegal cigarettes in exchange for money.

Nine of the officers had been stationed at Morebeng, six at Maleboho, three at Makhado and one was from the Botlokwa Police Station.

"Shortly after the arrest of the 19, they were suspended without pay and the same is applicable to the latest member taken into custody," said Makgale. 

Following these arrests, six police officers in the listed stations resigned, four were fired following departmental hearings and the other nine are yet to have disciplinary hearings. 

Meanwhile, in Welkom in the Free State, at least 22 police officers were arrested in September last year for contravening the Precious Metals Act and defeating the ends of justice. 

"They also face charges of theft, corruption and money laundering," said Makgale. "During the operation, police seized gold to the value of R900 000, mining equipment to the value of R100 000 and 14 vehicles to the value of R4m." 

Their court case was ongoing. 

In the meantime, 20 of them had been suspended and two others had resigned. 

Phiyega said they would not tolerate corrupt officials. 

Earlier this week, she lashed out at former Colonel Christiaan Prinsloo who has been implicated in the theft and selling of firearms to gangsters on the Cape Flats.

Prinsloo had headed the Firearm, Liquor and Second Hand Goods Control unit in Gauteng.

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