South Africa, Johannesburg – The South African Policing Union (Sapu) has applauded SA Police Service’s anti-corruption task team for dismissing seven police officials for corruption.
The group was arrested on June 4, during a pre-dawn operation, by the unit set up by National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole in 2017.
The seven were implicated in corrupt activities including bribery, fraud, and money laundering.
Sapu general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng said: “We are satisfied with the outcome; there is no place for corruption within the police ranks and it’s good to see such decisiveness.
“Police have come under criticism in the past and we are aware of that. However, this is one profession that should be at the forefront of eliminating corrupt individuals.”
Mogodiseng said citizens also involved in corrupt dealings should face the music.
“To be quite honest, it’s a two-way street. There are a chain and other people outside the police profession who initiate the corruption who we believe must also be apprehended.”
National police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said: “Among those arrested were a former lieutenant-general, three brigadiers, colonels, civilian employees and six private citizens on charges which included fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering.”
Naidoo said although the accused in this matter are currently subjected to criminal prosecution, these seven were tried internally and found guilty before being dismissed.
Sitole reiterated the position of police management to root out corruption from within the SAPS, “irrespective of the rank or position a member holds within the service”.
“I continue to urge members to desist from any form of criminality or corruption as such actions will do nothing more than bringing an abrupt end to one’s freedom and career,” Sitole said.
DA spokesperson Okkie Terblanche said the dismissals will send a strong message to other officials within the police ranks.
“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated at any level. This just brings the image of police members down.
“Fact of the matter is that we stand with the rule of the law and nobody is above the law regardless of their ranking.”
Terblanche said it was concerning to note that some of the dismissed officials held high positions in the police ranks.
“Such rot must be eliminated but it also raises eyebrows, since we might not be aware of the damage that is already done to certain divisions.”
He also weighed in on the recent social media video of a North West officer in a police vehicle wobbling drunk.