Life prison rape robbery

Man in handcuffs Image: Adobe Stock

SAPS corruption: Fraud in the force fuelling internal probes

SAPS are investigating several cases of corruption in the Northern Cape

Life prison rape robbery

Man in handcuffs Image: Adobe Stock

Ongoing investigations into corruption allegations against several members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Northern Cape have led the Provincial Commissioner to condemn a system of corruption in the ranks. 

Fraudulent cop arrested

Following the arrest of investigating officer Captain Salmons Gerhardus Esterhuisen early in February on charges of fraud, the department has laid down a final warning to offenders. 

““Members of the South African Police Service, should at all times take a lead by setting a good precedence not to participate in corrupt activities” said Provincial Commissioner Lt. General Risimati Shivuri.

Esterhuisen is accused of defrauding the state more than R30 000 after he allegedly submitted requests for cash advances under the pretence that the funds were needed for ongoing investigations. 

The “investigations” turned out to be completely spurious. 

“Early this month the Northern Cape Provincial Detectives, arrested one of their own, an investigating officer, Captain Salmons Gerhardus Esterhuisen and charged him on three counts of fraud,” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba. 

Esterhuisen is due to appear at Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on 25 February after his case was postponed for further investigation. In the meantime, he’ll remain behind bars. 

“The organisation has taken a stand, to deal decisively with those police officials who are in conflict with the law, by either participating actively or passively in criminal activities,” he said. 

Another officer was arrested last month and subsequently sentenced to nine years behind bars after he was found to be extorting suspects for money and valuables in exchange for their freedom

Shivuri said that SAPS would continue to look inward to resolve their corruption problem, presumedly in anticipation of effecting change outside of the institution. 

“We will continue to purify the organisation, by arresting members who are participating in criminal activities” said Lt Gen Shivuri.

SAPS corruption “worst of them all”

In August last year, Corruption Watch published a report that found SAPS to be the most corrupt of all of South Africa’s public institutions. 

The 2019 Analysis of Corruption Trends Report, taken from 1,591 whistle-blowers “who have exposed corruption in different sectors across the country”, found that SAPS ‘corruption’ accounted for 9.2% of all reported corruption. 

The third edition of this half-yearly publication revealed that in 2019 corruption in the police sector overtook other sectors such as schools, health and local government for the first time.