Two Durban police officers who ignored their duties, and the law, by allegedly attempting to solicit a bribe from a truck driver have been arrested, officials said on Thursday.
The two officers, aged 31 and 42, are scheduled to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on charges of bribery and corruption, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said.
He said the sergeant and constable were arrested on Wednesday morning while they were on duty.
Naicker said the officers were working along Essex Terrace in Westville when they pulled over a truck transporting passengers.
"The truck was searched and the policemen found that the disc was expired and that the passengers were foreign nationals. The [officers] allegedly demanded cash from the driver, instead of dealing with the transgressions."
The truck driver contacted his employer, asking him to deposit the cash by e-wallet and the officers then allegedly drove to a local mall with the truck driver to withdraw the money.
"The quick thinking employer immediately alerted police officers at the Westville police station of the corrupt activities. Police officers from Westville SAPS immediately responded to the report and apprehended the suspects at the mall as they attempted to withdraw the cash," said Naicker.
He said the officers' firearms were immediately removed and that they were detained in Westville police station cells.
Top cop lauds arrest
Acting provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi lauded the arrest of the accused cops.
He thanked the owner of the truck for "not succumbing to the urge to escape accountability by paying a bribe".
"We need more honest citizens such as him that are willing to work with authorities to get rid of corrupt government employees. We as the police detest corruption and we will not hesitate, even for a second, to arrest our own that are accused of corruption."
Mkhwanazi said officers not acting against corruption when it was brought to their attention would also face the full might of the law.
"We certainly do not need such individuals within the ranks of the SAPS. I also commend those upright police officers that responded to the report of corruption and acted decisively in this case."