Three members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were arrested by the Hawks on Tuesday, 14 September for allegedly attempting to extort a group of individuals. The suspects threatened the complainants with arrest if they did not comply. The three officers made their first appearance in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The three arrested police officers – Warrant Officer Charles Mgiba, 50, Sergeant Obed Machevele, 36, and Sergeant Clement Langutelani Mashele, 34 – face charges of corruption, kidnapping and negligence of firearm, according to SAPS spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday after they allegedly went to a private home in Midrand, Gauteng, and demanded an amount of $10 000 (R 144 311,90). The police said the suspects threatened that the individuals would be arrested for alleged fraudulent activities that have been reported.
“The trio allegedly seized laptops and cellphones and forced the complainants into a vehicle. They allegedly drove to a fuel station in Sandton where they released one of the complainants to go get the demanded money,” said the police spokesperson.
“The matter was immediately reported to the Hawks’ office in Germiston for a swift response. Suspects were arrested upon collection of the money. Police seized electronic gadgets, firearm and ammunition for further investigation.”
It was also discovered that one of the police officers left behind a bag that contained a service pistol along with ammunition and handcuffs, hence the “negligence of firearm charge.”
The Alexandra Magistrate’s Court remanded the three suspects in custody while the investigation continues. Their next court appearance is expected to take place on 21 September when they will lodge a formal bail application.
Hawks boss in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, welcomed the arrest of the police officers and commended the investigating team’s swift response.
“Together with the public we can help fight the scourge of corrupt criminal activities in our country. We urge the public to report any police officials alleged to have been involved in criminal activities to authorities,” said Kadwa.