Weekend special: Corrupt Witbank cops get jailed for 1,500 hours each
As the house robbery and burglary rate soars in Witbank, Mpumalanga, two of the town's police officers have been convicted of trying to cash in on the victims of such crimes, the Hawks said on Monday.
On Friday, former police detective warrant officer Jan Maphanga and former constable Sonjana Malatji were convicted and sentenced in the Middelburg Regional Court for corruption.
"They were convicted of soliciting a bribe of R5,000 from a complainant who was the victim of a house robbery in April 2007," said Captain Dineo Sekgotodi.
"They claimed that the money would be used to pay an informer to assist in tracing the victim's vehicle, which was stolen during the robbery - but the stolen vehicle had already been recovered by the police.
"The victim never got to see justice served - he died of natural causes after testifying," Sekgotodi said. "The two were sentenced to 1,500 hours each ... as from November 3 they must start serving their sentence, spending every weekend in prison."
The dire crime situation in Witbank was highlighted in the latest crime statistics released by Stats SA. The town leads the statistics in house burglaries, with an average of 6.7 reported each day. The most house robberies in the country were also reported in Witbank, at 4.4 a day.
House robberies are defined as being break-ins when residents are at home.