Hawks arrest two of their own for stealing

Three law enforcement officers have been arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Anti-Corruption Unit for allegedly stealing R1 million.

The three – Warrant Officer Tefo Maimane, 49, Warrant Officer Eric Melaphi, 41, both attached to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crimes Unit and Detective Constable Khumbulo Gadivhana, 36, from Hillbrow SAPS – are accused of conspiring to steal and stealing R1 million in an armed robbery in Edenvale and Hillbrow respectively.

Their arrest follows allegations that in September this year four police officials, driving in two vehicles, stopped a vehicle in Norwood alleging that the driver was driving recklessly.

The driver insisted that they proceed to the nearest police station.

He was hauled to Norwood police station where a search was conducted and [the police members] allegedly found two boxes full of cash including a receipt indicating the total amount which the victim had exchanged for his employer, Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said on Wednesday.

Captain Mulamu said the suspects left the police precinct and proceeded to the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court building on Eloff Street in a police escort.

They allegedly offloaded the two boxes and entered one of the offices where they shared the R1 million and returned the remainder to the driver.

An investigation ensued after the matter was referred by the SAPS to the Hawks which culminated in the arrest of the three on Tuesday.

Efforts to track the fourth suspect down are underway.

Gauteng Head of the Hawks, Major General Prince Mokotedi, expressed his gratitude to the members and congratulated them for the courage they had shown in arresting their own.

Since we implemented a zero tolerance [approach] to corruption, we have arrested 102 police officials in Gauteng from March 2016 to date. The Serious Anti-Corruption Investigation Unit was beefed-up with 18 members and we are now reaping the fruits of arresting corrupt individuals, Mokotedi said.

He warned unscrupulous members that the police will not relax until the Hawks, particularly in Gauteng, gets rid of all the bad elements. The blue wall is greatly impeding our success to tackle organised crime. Once broken, our progress to bust crime syndicates will be accelerated, he said.

Meanwhile, the trio, Maimane, Melaphi and Gadivhana appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and their case was postponed to 27 December 2017 for a formal bail application.

Source: South African Government News Agency