NATIONAL NEWS - In an effort to weed out corruption in its ranks, the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Wednesday nabbed eight of its own in a pre-dawn operation across the country.
The eight are among the 14 arrested by an Anti-Corruption Task Team during the operation. Among the arrested are senior police officers and six company owners and directors.
In a statement, Police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said among the arrested senior officers was a former SAPS Lieutenant General.
“[They were arrested] on warrants of arrest issued on multiple charges, including fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering,” he said.
The Special Anti-Corruption Task Team, led by Brigadier Tony Perumal, was set up by Police Commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole, following serious allegations of corruption and related crimes, which date back to 2017.
“This team and its investigations have been supported by a prosecution team from the Investigative Directorate within the National Prosecuting Authority, under the leadership of Advocate Hermione Cronje,” said Naidoo.
Since 2017, this task team has been conducting a widespread intensive investigation into tender fraud related to the marking of police vehicles. During these investigations, nine members of the SAPS, including senior officers, private company directors and employees are alleged to have been involved in an elaborate act to defraud the State.
Among those arrest are:
Retired Lieutenant General Ramahlapi Johannes Mokwena, 60 years old, (Former Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, Pretoria Head Office), arrested in Rethabile;
- Brigadier James Ramanjalum, 55, (Former Section Head Procurement) arrested in Rooihuiskraal;
- Brigadier Jabez Naidoo, 49, (Station Commander: Point Police Station, KZN and Former SCM Head, Western Cape) arrested in Durban;
- Brigadier Lesetja David Mogotlane, 57, (Section Head: Mechanical Services) arrested in Soshanguwe;
- Colonel Thomas Dumisani Marima, 50, (Section Commander: Vehicles and Tactical Equipment);
- Lieutenant Colonel Veeran Naipal, 47, (Vehicle Support: Pretoria Central Garage);
- Lieutenant Colonel Alpheus Nkosibanke Makhetha, 46, (Technical Expert: Vehicle Fleet);
- Admin Clerk Jacoba Magadela Havenga, 49, (Chief Prov Clerk: New Vehicle Store, WC);
- SAC Marcell Duan Marney,33, (Chief Provisioning Clerk to Brigadier Ramanjalum);
- Krishna Chetty, 62, arrested in Centurion;
- Kishene Chetty, 38, arrested in Centurion;
- Lorrette Joubert, 44, (Owner of Vatika Trading), arrested in Mountain View, Pretoria;
- Maricha Joubert, 24, arrested in Mountain View, Pretoria;
- Kumarasen Prithviraj (owner of Kgotho) arrested in Mountain View, Pretoria, and
- Volan Prithviraj (son of Kumarasen) arrested in Pretoria.
The pending arrest of a Lieutenant Colonel will bring the total to 10 the number of police officers arrested, said Naidoo.
Sitole praised the task team for the zest and determination they showed in the pursuance of this investigation.
"I have been kept abreast of this extensive and very complicated investigation since its inception.
"I am confident that the cases against the arrested suspects are water-tight," said Sitole.
The suspects are expected to appear in court/s yet to be determined either today or tomorrow.
"We cannot rule out the possibility of more arrests being effected in this matter,” said Sitole, adding that corruption within SAPS will neither be condoned nor tolerated.