South Africa: 24 Western Cape Police Officers Nabbed for Criminality

A total of 24 police officers have been arrested in the Western Cape for breaking the law in the past six months.

This was revealed by Police Minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing on Thursday.

Cele said said the ministry and South African Police Service (SAPS) management are “alive to the fact that there are some police officers who are breaking the law while hiding behind the blue uniform”.

Between 1 April and September 2022 (to date), 24 police officers were arrested for various crimes in the Western Cape.

This includes 11 officials arrested for corruption, four for fraud, another four for extortion and another four for defeating the ends of justice.

During this period, one officer was arrested and charged after he was found in possession of drugs.

Said Cele: “We have agreed that restoring the trust deficit between communities and the SAPS will need the police service [to have a] clean house.

“I believe these arrests, while painful, send a strong message that police inaptness, and police corruption will never be tolerated and won’t go unpunished.

“While SAPS is arresting its own, the judiciary is also intensifying the fight against corruption within its ranks, including magistrates courts that have turned into bail ‘wholesales’ in some court precincts in the country.”

Furthermore, he said The Correctional Services Department has also made strides in the fight against alleged corruption at its correctional facilities. This includes allegations of prison warders, who are colluding with criminals while behind bars.

Stabilising transport sector

With the Western Cape transport sector having been marred by violence, intimidation and acts of sabotage placing commuters and drivers’ lives at risk, 38 cases were registered in this regard.

This included attacks on Intercape, Golden Arrow, Mavumisa buses, as well as taxis in August.

As a result, 16 people were arrested and charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.

“Interventions to stop the attacks and violence in this sector have included investigative task teams reliant on early warnings from Crime Intelligence to make arrests and prevent further attacks.

“The transport priority committee has been meeting with affected stakeholders, including the bilateral task team consisting of officials from the Eastern and Western Cape,” Cele said.

Increased police deployment on bus routes has also yielded encouraging results, said the Minister.

He said the ministry is comfortable with the measures in place to curtail violence, intimidation, threats and disruptions in the transport sector.

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