Hawks bust more Mpumalanga police and traffic officials for corruption
The Hawks have arrested five more police and traffic officials for allegedly demanding bribes from motorists in Mpumalanga.
“Their arrest follows a Hawks operation, which commenced last week Friday and saw the arrest of two traffic officials - Khethiwe Mkhabela, 42, and Lucky Mabena, 37 - and police constable David Mahlare Ntuli, 34,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi.
“The trio appeared before the Komatipoort Magistrate's Court and were granted R1,000 bail each. They will appear again on July 19 pending further investigations.”
Two other traffic officials and a police constable were arrested later on Friday evening. Traffic officials Simphiwe Nkosi, 42, and Zanele Vilakazi, 32, as well as police officer Elias Sibanyoni, 31, appeared in the Middelburg and Belfast Magistrate's Courts on Monday and were granted bail of between R500 and R1,000.
Two more suspects were added on Sunday and Monday respectively. Michael Mathenjwa and Constable Sello Lefi Mila, both 34, appeared in the Belfast Magistrate's Court and were granted bail of R500 each. Their case has been postponed to June 27.
"It is alleged that since April this year, the suspects solicited bribes from the motorists along the N4, between Komatipoort and Middelburg," the Hawks said on Sunday.
"The Hawks together with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) cooperated in gathering evidence against the suspects."
It was established during the two-month investigation that the suspects were operating with impunity, demanding bribes from unsuspecting tourists and threatening them with arrest if they failed to pay the bribes, said the Hawks.
The acting provincial head of the directorate for priority crime investigation, Brigadier Obed Ngwenya, welcomed the arrests of the officials.
“Corruption affects us all. It threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice. It destabilises our society and endangers the rules of the law. It undermines the institutions and values of our democracy,” he said.