A man was approached by police officers at a mall in Centurion where he was told that he had to choose between a bribe of R1 000 or bail of R5 000.
Two police constables were sentenced to four years in jail for corruption in the Pretoria District Court on Tuesday.
NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the court heard that on February 27, 2019, the complainant was approached in his car at the Centurion Mall by Peter Seshoka (40) and Zakhele Ronnie Mtsheni (40).
The complainant was told his car looked suspicious and the constables demanded to search it.
She said the constables discovered that the licence disk had expired, but was still within the grace period. They gave him a choice to either follow them to the police station where he would pay a R5 000 bail or give them R1 000 on the spot.
She said the two took hold of the complainant’s belongings while he went to an ATM to withdraw the R1 000 they demanded.
Mahanjana said the following day, the complainant reported the matter to the police and after an investigation by the SAPS anti-corruption unit, the two constables were summoned to court on October 7, 2020 then later released on warning.
“In court, the two pleaded not guilty,” she said. They were however subsequently found guilty.
“In aggravation of the sentence, the prosecutor Cassius Mona, asked the court to impose a sentence that will send a strong message, that corruption will not be tolerated especially in a country where police officials are accused of corruption and lack diligence in executing their duties,” Mahanjana said.
“He further told the court that the two constables should have known better as they were placed in a position of trust and authority which they betrayed.
“The director of public prosecutions, advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi thanks the great teamwork by the investigating team of the SAPS anti-corruption unit, and the prosecutor which led to the conviction and this sentence.”
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