An exposé by the Pretoria News of allegations of torture, assault, kidnapping, extortion and widespread corruption within the Tshwane Metro Police has led to a major shake-up of the city’s law-enforcement agency.
The shake-up, which is believed to have led to the removal of senior metro police officers from their posts and the breaking up of so-called criminal cliques within various units, was revealed by acting city manager Oupa Nkoane in an interview with the Pretoria News.
The exposé was part of an investigation by the Pretoria News and Eyewitness News, which also revealed the disappearance of Zimbabwean teenager Leon Chimatu, who was still missing six weeks after he was last seen with metro cops.
Chimatu disappeared after he and his brother, James, along with four other Zimbabwean hawkers, were allegedly kidnapped by metro police officers when they went to reclaim their goods that had been confiscated during a metro police by-law enforcement operation.
His disappearance, along with the other criminal allegations, prompted a separate investigation by the Independent Complaints Directorate, the SAPS and Lawyers for Human Rights.
These three investigations are running alongside investigations by the TMPD internal investigations unit.
Since the exposé, four metro police members have been arrested, two on allegations of corruption and two in connection with Leon’s disappearance.
The exposé revealed that nearly 30 percent of metro police officers were under investigation, with more than 350 dockets opened against some of the organisation’s estimated 1 300 policemen and women.
Investigations revealed that more than 40 percent of those being investigated were members based in Region 6, the city centre area that includes Sunnyside, Hatfield, Marabastad and surrounding areas.
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