Durban police have arrested three of their own colleagues for alleged corruption after the officers solicited a bribe from a tuck shop owner, police said on Thursday.
It is alleged that three officers approached the tuckshop owner in Mount Moriah, Phoenix on Wednesday around 21:00.
"They identified themselves as police officers. The suspects requested to search her tuckshop and they allegedly demanded cash from her so that they will not arrest her," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said.
Whilst the suspects were busy searching the premises, the victim contacted local police, informing them of the search.
"While waiting for the police to arrive, she gave these suspects R500 in cash as she did not have the R1 000 that was requested. As the suspects left in their vehicle, police officers arrived and interviewed the victim," Zwane said.
Police officers chased the departing vehicle and it was pulled over.
"The three occupants who introduced themselves as police officers were searched and cash was seized from their possession. All three suspects aged between 29 and 31, were arrested and charged with corruption. The vehicle used was a private vehicle belonging to one of the suspects," said Zwane.
He said they were all police constables stationed at the national Public Order Police reserve who are based in Durban. They were all off-duty during the incident.
Zwane said they were expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate's Court soon.
"This arrest goes a long way in demonstrating that ordinary police officers will not tolerate acts of corruption even if it is their own colleagues who are accused. We once again appeal to the public to report corruption to their local police because we are not afraid to arrest one of our own."
He also commended the victim in this case for her "good judgement in calling the police to report these corrupt police officers who have no place in this organisation".