Jonisayi Maromo, IOL News
Private security guards made the arrest after discovering the police officer in a forest outside of Sabie with over 22 kgs of cannabis in his van. Mpumulanga police management have strongly condemned his behaviour.
IOL reports that Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brig Selvy Mohlala said the captain was nabbed on Friday, 31 March 2023 after being allegedly “caught in the act” of selling cannabis.
“According to the report, on that day it is said that security guards were busy patrolling the premises at a certain plantation in Sabie when they noticed a police van in the bushes.
“They (security guards) then went to check as to what was happening. To their surprise, the guards reportedly saw two males, one being a SAPS captain, though not wearing uniform at the time whilst the other one was wearing SAPS boiler suit (police reflective jacket),” Mohlala narrated.
The captain was the driver of the SAPS service vehicle.
“It is further alleged that the two were allegedly in possession of some bags which were wrapped with Sellotape. It is said that they were busy putting the luggage into some black refuse bags.
“The man wearing (a) boiler suit reportedly ran away upon noticing the guards, leaving behind the driver who is said to have also tried to escape with the police bakkie but the security officers used their bakkie to block him,” said Mohlala.
The suspicious bags were then checked, and it was discovered that the content inside was dagga weighing 22,48kg with an estimated street value of R33 720.
“The police captain is alleged to have tried to bribe the guards, begging them to let him go and promised to offer one bag of dagga to be sold for their own profit or else he will sell it then give back the money. However, the security officers are said to have refused the offer,” according to Mohlala.
“The officer was then apprehended and the police in Sabie were notified about the shameful incident.”
The SAPS captain was subsequently charged for dealing in dagga, use of a State vehicle without (the) owner's consent, attempting to defeat the ends of justice and corruption.
“More charges could be added against the suspect as the investigation continues. Police are still in pursuit of the suspect who reportedly fled,” said Mohlala.
The detained policeman was expected to appear before the Sabie Magistrate's Court on Monday, 3 April 2023, facing the said charges.
Meanwhile, Mohlala said the SAPS management in Mpumalanga has further warned that “all perpetrators of crime will face the full might of the law without fear or favour regardless of their position or status”.
“The security guards were also commended for the work that they have done,” he said.
In January, the Nkomazi Magistrate's Court, sitting in Tonga, released a 29-year-old man on R1 000 bail after he was arrested for possession of dagga estimated at R1.7m.
At the time, Mohlala said Ntando Ntimane was found in possession of several bags, with name tags, stuffed with dagga.
“Police in Malelane acted swiftly to a tip off, which led to the arrest of a 29-year-old suspect, Ntando Ntimane, for possession of bags stuffed with 114kg of dagga estimated at R1 710 000 street value in a vehicle that was hidden in the sugar-cane farm about 2km out of town,” said Mohlala.
Police were alerted to the suspicious vehicle by members of a local security company.
“Without a waste of time, police responded to the complaint in the identified location,” said Mohlala.