Seven Stellenbosch police officers were arrested when evidence went missing during an operation.
Police were executing the arrests of two alleged drug dealers when things went south.
The incident happened on Wednesday, August 9, according to Provincial Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.
“Reports suggested that the complainant sent his two brothers to do a deposit at a local bank in Stellenbosch on Wednesday. On the way they were apprehended by police officials who returned with them to a premises in Kayamandi, searched the premises, and ultimately confiscated a consignment of drugs. They then arrested and detained two males on a charge of dealing in drugs,” Swartbooi said.
Following the arrest, the police commander obtained information that the money confiscated was never disclosed or registered.
A search was conducted among the police officers, and cash was discovered in their bags, coats, and vehicles.
Six men and one woman were arrested and held by Stellenbosch police officers on suspicion of theft.
The seven officers are scheduled to appear in Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court shortly.
Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, the Western Cape Police Commissioner, praised the arrests.
He said no member of the South African Police Service is above the law and they will continue to arrest suspects who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
The Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen said he was appalled by the alleged corruption levelled against the SAPS members.
“There will never be a time when individuals who should uphold, protect and enforce the law, should make themselves guilty of not obeying our laws. This alleged action goes entirely against their oath and our constitution. For this alone, they certainly deserve to have their blue uniform changed to orange overalls.
“I welcome the steps the commander of the unit took after it became apparent that they did not register the cash that was confiscated. I will engage the Provincial Commissioner about this matter. I further intend to visit the Stellenbosch area in due course to conduct oversight,” Allen said.