10 cops, 8 home affairs officials arrested for extortion

Johannesburg – Ten police officers and eight home affairs officials were arrested in the Free State on Wednesday morning for allegedly extorting money from foreigners, the South African Police Service said.

This comes as SAPS revealed that 706 police officials had been arrested for criminal activity in the 2016/17 financial year, compared to 725 in 2015/16.

In a statement, acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane's spokesperson, Athlenda Mathe, said the officials threatened Lesotho nationals who did not have the correct documentation.

In some instances, they assisted these nationals to cross the border without the correct documentation required, Mathe said.

A joint operation with the Hawks, at the Ficksburg port of entry into Lesotho and SA, led to their arrests.

"During the duration of the investigation, officials were observed and it then became evident that our own were implicated," she said.

Phahlane welcomed the arrests.

"The arrest of our own is both disheartening and pleasing at the same time because this gives us an opportunity to identify the corrupt elements within the system," he said.

"Other members should draw lessons from this, and this should serve as a deterrence within our organisation to those officials who may be involved in corrupt-related activities."

James de Villiers, News24