Six Mpumalanga traffic officers who allegedly confiscated a driver’s licence from a motorist and demanded payment to release it have been arrested after accepting the payment weeks after the offence.
The six traffic officials were arrested on Wednesday, they are facing charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the traffic officers stopped a man who was transporting school children in his bakkie on 12 March.
Instead of issuing him with traffic fine, the officers allegedly took his driver’s licence and demanded money in exchange for the licence.
But the man told him he didn’t have any money and was allegedly told that he would never see his driver’s licence unless he “pays” for it.
“The man then allegedly made arrangements to ‘pay’ them at the end of March. When the day arrived, he contacted the officials and allegedly handed over the money,” Hlathi said.
“The police were then notified about the allegations and they followed up on the information. The traffic officials were arrested shortly thereafter after being found in possession of the money which was allegedly handed over as payment.”
The six officers appeared in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
All of them were released on a warning.
They are expected to appear in court again 8 July.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said: “As law enforcers in the province, we made a decision that we need to tackle corruption head-on without fear or favour and we cannot allow rotten elements to exist within our ranks. If anyone is found to have been involved in any kind of corrupt activity, [the person] must be rooted out as we are here to serve the public – not victimise and take advantage of them.”