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South African police investigates graft cases involving 564 officers

The suspects included two lieutenant-generals, three major-generals and eight brigadiers, Sithole told Parliament’s watchdog Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

South African police investigates graft cases involving 564 officers www.theafricanstand.com
South African National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole.

(The African Stand) — South African police are internally investigating 286 cases of corruption involving 564 officers, national commissioner General Khehla Sitole told members of parliament, African News Agency reports.

The suspects included two lieutenant-generals, three major-generals and eight brigadiers, Sithole told Parliament’s watchdog Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

He said the cases ranged from 55 of fraud to 35 of extortion and 136 alleged breaches of the Disaster Management Act, in terms of which the government declared a national state of disaster in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fourteen policemen face disciplinary charges for helping detainees escape.

So far, 77 police officers have been dismissed and 113 received lesser sanction.

This was over and above what the national commissioner termed high-profile corruption cases, involving 79 officers that have seen two members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) fired so far following disciplinary hearings.

In the so-called blue lights case, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority have arrested and charged seven officers.

They include deputy national commissioner Bonang Mgwenya who has been charged along with 12 other senior officers for conspiring to allocate an R191-million contract for installing warning systems on law enforcement vehicles that went to Vimpie Manthata, in return for gratification.

The probe has a second leg in which 10 officers have been implicated, Sitole said.

Reporting to the committee on the probe into suspect contracts to appoint forensic data analysts, the commissioner said disciplinary hearings against 16 SAPS members are ongoing.

The investigation into the de facto extension of an R475-million contract between SAPS and wireline and wireless telecommunications provider Telkom, though it was not signed, was outsourced and has resulted in recommendations that four officers must be charged criminally and 11 internally.

Sitole said the police had forwarded the conclusions to lawyers for a legal opinion.

He told MPs that many of the cases dealt with relatively old matters inherited by the current police management and said he believed it would not take the police service long to restore its reputation.

Wandukwa Henry

Written by Wandukwa Henry

Wandukwa Henry is a graduate from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Computer Science and now he is an African Stand correspondent covering the East African region.

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