Hartbeespoort detective in court for corruption

A 39-year-old Hartbeespoort police detective was arrested for corruption by the police’s anti-corruption unit in Hartbeespoort last Wednesday.

According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, Detective Sergeant Kopano Thamage was arrested after collecting money from a community member with the promise that a case against him would be withdrawn.

Mokgwabone said the arrest follows after Thamago tried to extort money from a resident who had been charged with drunken driving. “A case of drunken driving was registered at the Hartbeespoort police station in June and allocated to Sergeant Thamage for investigation. According to the report, the police member demanded R7 000 from the accused in exchange for withdrawal or disappearance of the case docket. However, the accused reported the matter to the police,” he said.

Members of the police’s Anti-Corruption Investigation Unit arrested Thamage shortly after collecting the R7 000 cash from the accused in the drunken driving case. “The money was found in the possession of the member who is attached to the Hartbeespoort police detectives unit.”

Thamage appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Thursday on charges of corruption and was granted R1 500 bail. He will reappear in court on Friday, 29 October.

North West Police Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena warned South African Police Service (SAPS) employees in the province that corruption and any act of criminality will not be tolerated and that those who misuse their power as law enforcement officers, will be exposed and brought to book.