Foreign national shopkeepers in Thabo Mbeki township, Cape Town claim to have fallen victim to a robbery allegedly committed by members of SAPS.
The incident occurred around 9.30 pm on Saturday.
According to one of the shopkeepers, who wished to remain anonymous, the SAPS officers knocked on the shop’s door and immediately began questioning why there was a gun on the premises.
“They ordered us to lie down and pretended to search us but it was clear that their true intention was to steal our money,” he said.
The officers proceeded to search the shop and made off with a substantial amount totalling more than R5,000.
“We don’t usually open during load shedding, but when we saw that they were police officers, we felt it was fine and never suspected them to be criminals,” said the shopkeeper.
While the shopkeepers were still lying on the ground as instructed, the officers took the opportunity to rob them.
“They warned us not to get up until they left,” added the shopkeeper.
Following the incident, the victims turned to their local police station in the hopes of filing a case against the officers involved.
“I was shocked when I was told that I couldn’t receive any assistance because I didn’t have the vehicle’s registration number or their names.”
The officers had hidden their identities. They were not wearing name tags and covered their faces, leaving the victims without any means of identification.
“It seems that the officers who stole our money are getting away with their crime,” said the shopkeeper.
Lulamile Bzana, a 45-year-old resident, spoke about an even more disturbing trend, alleging that SAPS officers have been extorting money from foreign nationals for a long time.
“They have become accustomed to taking things from foreign nationals’ shops,” said Lulamile.
In response to these allegations, Western Cape SAPS spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk emphasised that their members are bound by a code of conduct.
“The complainant is strongly encouraged to lodge a complaint with police management or Ipid for a disciplinary investigation into these allegations,” said Van Wyk.
Written by a Scrolla.Africa reporter