12 July 2015

South Africa: Police Management Deals With Police Criminality Decisively

press release

The South African Police Service's management is decisive when dealing with corruption and other forms of criminality within the SAPS.

Another warrant officer was arrested at the Morebeng Police Station in Limpopo on a charge of corruption after he was found allegedly assisting cigarette smugglers on the N1. This arrest follows the arrest of 19 other police officials for corruption in the Limpopo province during December 2014.

The SAPS Morebeng member, Warrant Officer Peter Mathaka Magugumela, was arrested late last week. He appeared in the Sekgosese Regional Court on Monday and was released on R3000 bail. The case against him was remanded to 16 July 2015.

In December last year, the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Riah Phiyega, joined a special task team of members of Crime Intelligence and detectives investigating the involvement of the police in distributing illegal cigarettes. That operation led to the arrest of the 19 police officers, which consisted of six warrant officers and 13 constables, after an investigation that lasted almost two years. The members were involved in escorting vehicles carrying illegal cigarettes in exchange for money.

Nine of the members were stationed at Morebeng, six at Maleboho, three at Makhado and one was attached to the Botlokwa Police Station. The latest arrest brings the number of members arrested at Morebeng to ten. Shortly after the arrest of the 19 they were suspended without pay and the same is applicable to the latest member taken into custody.

Intensive investigations are still continuing and more arrests in the province cannot be ruled out.

Since these arrests took place six of the members have resigned from the SAPS, four were dismissed following departmental trials and a further nine will appear for departmental trials again during July.

Also, in September last year, 22 members from the Welkom and surrounding areas were arrested after allegedly contravening some sections of the Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005, and defeating the administration of justice. They also face charges of theft, corruption and money laundering. During the operation, police seized gold to the value of R900 000-00, mining equipment to the value of R100 000-00 and 14 vehicles to the value of R4 million.

While the criminal cases are still being heard in court, 20 members are suspended in terms of Regulation 13 (1) of the South African Police Service Disciplinary Regulation, 2006 with effect from 20 February 2015 and two members, Constable Josiah Themba Mdaka and Warrant Officer Thamsanqa Hendrik Djalivani resigned before December last year.

In this matter, there are 12 separate disciplinary cases, all still pending, with the next appearance on 15 July 2015. Our Personnel Management office has indicated that the disciplinary hearings will hopefully be finalised by the end of this month, if all goes according to the planned schedule.

"To date there are 270 SAPS members that are currently on suspension, 85 with remuneration and 185 with no remuneration. We have dismissed over 1442 members for various criminal and departmental reasons which indicates that police management has taken a decision to neither condone nor tolerate such elements within our ranks," said General Phiyega.

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