National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) management is dealing with cases of corruption and other forms of criminality within the organisation.
The police service has dismissed 1 442 policemen in the past three financial years.
“To date there are 270 SAPS members that are currently on suspension, 85 with remuneration and 185 with no remuneration … which indicates that police management has taken a decision to neither condone nor tolerate such elements within our ranks,” said General Phiyega on Sunday.
In a recent incident, Warrant Officer Peter Mathaka Magugumela was arrested at the Morebeng Police Station in Limpopo on a charge of corruption for allegedly assisting cigarette smugglers on the N1 freeway.
He appeared in the Sekgosese Regional Court last Monday and was released on R3000 bail. The case against him was remanded to Thursday.
This follows the arrest of 19 other police officials for corruption in Limpopo during December 2014, when General Phiyega joined a special task team of members of Crime Intelligence and detectives investigating the involvement of the police in distributing illegal cigarettes.
The operation led to the arrest of the 19 police officers, which consisted of six warrant officers and 13 constables, after an investigation that lasted almost two years.
The members were involved in escorting vehicles carrying illegal cigarettes in exchange for money.
Nine of the members were stationed at Morebeng, six at Maleboho, three at Makhado and one was attached to the Botlokwa Police Station.
“Shortly after the arrest of the 19 [members], they were suspended without pay and the same is applicable to the latest member taken into custody,” said General Phiyega.
She added that intensive investigations are still continuing and more arrests in the province cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, in Welkom in the Free State, at least 22 police officers were arrested in September last year for contravening the Precious Metals Act and defeating the ends of justice.
They also face charges of theft, corruption and money laundering.
During an operation, police seized gold to the value of R900 000, mining equipment to the value of R100 000 and 14 vehicles to the value of R4 million.
Twenty of them had been suspended and two others had resigned.
General Phiyega said the SAPS would not tolerate corrupt officials.