Mpuma cops up for theft, bribery, rape

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bethal - Two police reservists have appeared in court for allegedly soliciting a R6 000 bribe from a store owner in Mpumalanga.

This brings to six the number of police officials who have appeared in court this week for crimes ranging from theft to soliciting bribes and rape in Mpumalanga.

Provincial police spokesperson, Captain Leonard Hlathi, said reserve Inspector Balakrishman Padayachee, 53, and reserve Constable Philip Mabena, 35), both stationed at the Witbank police station in Emalahleni (formerly Witbank), were arrested on Sunday. They appeared in court on Monday.

"According to the shop owner, he was told that he was selling fake cigarettes and should pay over R6 000 to avoid arrest," said Hlathi.

"We have no room for corrupt members in the police," he added.

The reservists are also accused of stealing R15 000 from the shop owner. They pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and corruption and were released on R4000 bail each.

Two reserve police constables and a community member appeared before the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court on charges of corruption on Monday.

Peter Hlatshwayo, 28 and Bongani Buthelezi, 35, from the Piet Retief police station, and local resident Sello Maila, 32, were arrested on charges of soliciting bribes from foreign nationals.

"They allegedly told the foreign nationals that their permits had expired and to pay them a certain amount of money as bribe," said Hlathi. Maila is accused of acting as a police official.

Meanwhile, two student police constables also appeared in the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of kidnapping, rape and assault.

They are accused of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl at about 6pm on March 24, locking her inside a former mortuary that now stands empty, and raping her overnight.

"On Thursday morning she reported the matter at the police station. An identification parade was held and she pointed out the suspects," said Hlathi.

The two student constables also pleaded not guilty and were remanded in police custody until April 1 for a bail application.