Cops in dock for accepting bribes to release incarcerated suspects

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

The officers, along with a clerk, face charges of corruption and defeating the administration of justice.

An alleged undertaking to “make a plan” for the release of three suspects, for a R600 bribe, has landed two police officials, as well as a police clerk, in trouble.

In the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, were sergeants Siyabulela Patrick Klaas, 40, and Mzimazi Soji, 38, both based at the Khayelitsha police station, and police clerk Phumelele Victor Solani, 50, of the Harare police station.

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The story begins with the arrest of suspects Mzoxolo Sigwela, his wife Hlombekazi Fani, and Siyabonga Thabatha, in Khayelitsha, in October last year, for possession of a stolen generator.

The same day, a friend of the three suspects, Siyanda Kubalo, went to the Khayelitsha police station to inquire about them.

Prosecutor Derek Vogel alleges that Klaas informed Kubalo that the wife was in tears, but that Klaas, Soji and Solani could make a plan for the release of all three, for the R600 bribe – each was to get R200.

The wife was released – not the other two – on the understanding that she and Kubalo would meet the two police officers and the clerk secretly that night, to pay the money, which Kubalo and the released wife did.

According to the charge sheet, they paid the police officials R700 instead of R600.

As it turned out, only the wife was released, but not the other two.

The next day, the wife went to court to support her husband, only to hear that she had to appear in court as well, with her husband and Thabatha, all charged with possession of the stolen generator.

Sigwela and Thbatha were released on R500 bail each, and Fani on warning.

It is alleged that Klaas approached Sigwela the next day to apologise, and at the same time requested Sigwela to persuade his wife to withdraw the current charges that she had laid against them.

Both police officials, as well as Solani, now face two charges – corruption in respect of the R700 bribe, and defeating the administration of justice for requesting Sigwela to ask his wife to withdraw the current charges against them.

– African News Agency

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