Police corruption a familiar tale in South Africa

As the country's former police chief awaits sentencing over cash payments from a drug traffickers, it seems a new story

    Out last night meeting new friends with familiar tales to tell of police corruption.

    Over the last year or so both of them have been asked by policemen to drive to an ATM in order to pay their way out of a breathalyser test and a potential night in jail.

    Neither of them ended up paying a bribe once the request had been made they screamed and shouted about it until the police officer went away. And on they drove.
     
    Every day there is a new headline about criminality within the police here.

    The Sowetan newspaper seems to be leading the way with investigations. Today it's the story of a businessman, Herbert Mandlbaur, who sued the Hillbrow police station for $21,000 after he was wrongfully arrested.
     
    Mandlbaur says he was personally harassed by the acting commissioner for the station, Koos van Rhyn. The same van Rhyn who is currently under investigation for mafia links.

    Meanwhile, the former head of Interpol and the man in charge of South Africa's police force from 2001-9, Jackie Selebi is back in court for sentencing after he was convicted of corruption last month. 

    He was convicted of receiving cash payments from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.

    He faces a minimum of 15 years in jail but today the South Gauteng High Court is hearing from several members of the ruling party who say he should have a lighter sentence.

    The judge said that Selebi lied and fabricated evidence during the trial. Hardly a good example to set to the forces he once headed up.

    Down the corridor in the same court, Agliotti is facing another trial. This time he is suspected of organising the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble.

    It's a story filled with twists and allegations worthy of a Hollywood movie.


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