- Eight Tactical Response Team officers have been arrested for allegedly taking money confiscated during an operation.
- Two arrests were made at a Kroonstad supermarket in June, when the owner and his wife were arrested for selling cigarettes while it was banned.
- After the store owner was released, it was found money confiscated during the arrest was missing.
Eight Tactical Response Team (TRT) members have appeared in the Kroonstad Magistrate's Court on charges of business robbery, defeating the ends of justice and perjury after money confiscated during an arrest went missing.
The officers – Sergeants Doctor Christian Maloisane, Tieho William Nkebenyane, Paseka Kelebohile Molifi, Sello Joseph Makonyane, Khotatso Prinsloo Bless, Madiboho Samuel Mokhethi, PH Motlejoa and Constable Luzuko Cenga – appeared in court on Friday.
The Free State anti-corruption unit arrested them on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a business robbery on 20 June at a supermarket in Kroonstad, police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said.
"The suspects allegedly conducted an operation at a shop in Station Street, Kroonstad, where they arrested the owner and his wife for contravention of Disaster Management Act, for selling cigarettes during the lockdown period. A large amount of money and cigarettes were confiscated," Makhele said.
The couple was later released and the money and cigarettes handed back to them.
"This is when it emerged that the amount handed back to them is not the same as the one taken," Makhele said.
The police officers will remain in custody until 1 October, when they will apply for bail.
Molifi and Maloisane will appear in the Welkom Magistrate's Court on Monday on a separate charge of the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. This came after a firearm and ammunition were found in their houses during the search.
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