Cops swoop on top officers in probe over branding of SAPS vehicles
Eight senior police officers and a former lieutenant-general were arrested in a predawn swoop on Thursday, along with six private citizens, in connection with fraud related to the branding of police vehicles.
The group, which includes company directors and owners, is facing multiple charges including fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering, which date back to 2017.
The arrests come after national police commissioner Khehla John Sitole established a special anti-corruption to investigate the allegations.
“Since 2017 this task team has been conducting a widespread intensive investigation into tender fraud related to the marking of police vehicles. During these investigations nine members of the SAPS, including senior officers, private company directors and employees are alleged to have been involved in an elaborate act to defraud the state,” the police said in a statement.
“The pending arrest of a lieutenant colonel will bring to 10 the number of police officers arrested,” the police said.
Sitole commended the task team for the arrests.
“I have been kept abreast of this extensive and very complicated investigation since its inception.
“I am confident that the cases against the arrested suspects are watertight,” said Sitole.
The suspects — including three brigadiers, a colonel and two current lieutenant colonels — are due to appear in court soon.
The officers hold a range of positions in various divisions including the police's supply chain management, procurement, mechanical services, vehicles and tactical equipment and the Pretoria Central Garage.
Last month, TimesLIVE reported that two companies that had been awarded a multimillion-rand tender to brand police vehicles were found to have lied and made fraudulent misrepresentations in their tender bid.