The South African Police Union (SAPU) has welcomed the prison sentences imposed on former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and other senior police officers, albeit "with a heavy heart".
Lamoer, former SAPS brigadiers Darius Van Der Ross and Colin Govender, and businessman Saleem Dawjee were all sentenced on Thursday.
Lamoer and Dawjee were both sentenced to an effective six years in prison, while Govender was sentenced to four years and Van der Ross to two years.
SAPU general secretary Oscar Skommere said it was a shame that senior police officers such as Govender, Van der Ross and Lamoer ended up in jail because of corruption.
"SAPU welcomes this sentence with a heavy heart. We cannot enjoy the sentencing of former senior officers like these," Skommere said.
"We are only consoled by the fact that this proves once again, that we are all equal before the law."
Skommere added that the union called on other men and women in blue to not fall into the trap of becoming criminals themselves.
"This heavy sentence will be used as a lesson to those few rotten elements who are tarnishing the good name of the SAPS," he said.
"Those few rotten elements will be exposed and dealt with accordingly. It is a shame that the SAPS continues to be discredited by officers like these, who allow their selfishness and greed to compromise their judgement."
Meanwhile, national commissioner of the police General Khehla John Sitole, said the convictions were in line with the SAPS' objective of "stamping the authority of the State".
"Such infractions by members of the SAPS will neither be tolerated nor condoned," he said.
"Government officials, particularly policemen and women are constantly being warned of the consequences of engaging in corrupt behaviour and relationships and these latest convictions and [sentence] are a stark reminder of those consequences," Sitole added.
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