SA cops demand R2 000 from Zimbabwean border-jumper

CORRUPTION charges against two South African police women recently arrested for allegedly taking a bribe of R2 000 from a Zimbabwean illegal emigrant in Polokwane, were on Wednesday temporarily withdrawn.

Windy Heyman (40) and Tebogo Mojapelo (32) were picked up on 11 April by that country’s organised crime unit, the Hawks, soon after receiving the bribe paid in two parts.

Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo Province, Captain Matimba Maluleke said the suspects were both based at Polokwane police station.

“Charges against the two police women arrested on 11 April for corruption have provisionally been withdrawn pending further investigations,” he said.

“They were being tried at the Polokwane Magistrate Court. It is alleged they arrested a Zimbabwean on 7 April for border jumping and demanded a bribe of R2 000 for her freedom.

“The victim then called her husband who deposited R400 through e-wallet and she was released on agreement that she would settle the R1 600 balance.”

Capt Maluleke said the two police officers confiscated the woman’s cellphone and personal belongings on the basis that they would give them back upon payment of the R1 600.

He said the matter was then reported to the Hawks who acted swiftly and arrested the two cops at Polokwane’s CBD during patrols.

He added that they were trapped and arrested immediately after collecting R1 600 from an undercover detective.

“We encourage members of the community to report corrupt officials to the police. We will use everything at our disposal to fight corruption until it comes to a stop,” he said.

So far the Hawks have arrested over 25, South African border authorities between May 2016 and April this year in Limpopo province alone on charges of fraud and corruption.

Late last year two South African immigration officers based in Limpopo province were arrested by the Hawks for taking bribes from Zimbabwean travellers and asylum seekers entering the neighbouring country through Beitbridge Border Post.

The suspects were arrested following intensive investigations which began in 2012.

The Hawks are South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), which specialises in investigating organised crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crimes.

In most instances these targeted crimes are referred to the Hawks by that country’s Head of State or the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Further, in May last year, 15 people including; police and immigration officers along with customs clearing agents, on allegations of facilitating illegal migration among other underhand deals at the Beitbridge Border Post.

These were arrested following investigations conducted over a period of six months. – B-Metro

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