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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Centurion family opens extortion case against TMPD officers after ‘night of terror’

The family were allegedly forced to pay officers R12 000 to avoid being arrested.


A Centurion family has a laid a charge of extortion against Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) officers, after what they described as a “night of terror”.

Yolanda and Neels Groenewald, accompanied by AfriForum private prosecution adviser Natasha Venter, reported the case at the Lyttelton police station on Tuesday, Pretoria Rekord reported.

The Groenewalds said their ordeal took place on 22 August, when they were returning home from their son’s school event in Pretoria.

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On their travels, the couple said they were stopped by polic on the R21 offramp. The officers then allegedly extorted R12 000 from them, under the threat of facing prison time.

“The officers threatened they would lock Neels, who was driving, up and only release him two days later,” Venter relayed to the publication.

“The officers also conveyed this message to his wife and child, who were waiting in the car on a pitch-dark night.”

None of the officers were wearing visible name tags.

“It was extremely traumatic for the family,” she said.

A female officer allegedly demanded that Neels transfer R3 000 electronically to a specific bank account to ensure the “investigation” against him “disappears”.

Neels then drove to two different ATMs to withdraw the outstanding R9 000 and hand the cash over to the officers.

Venter said only when the money exchanged hands did the officers hand Neels back his licence and let the family go home.

“We laid these charges because we felt it could no longer go on like this. The metro police subjected us to a night of terror. It was traumatic for all of us, especially my son,” Yolanda said.

“This is not how police officers should behave, and this is not how officials should treat citizens.”

Lyttelton police spokesperson Captain Dave Miller confirmed that a case of extortion had been opened at the police station.

Attempts by Pretoria Rekord to get comment from TMPD spokesperson Isaac Mahamba were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

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Edited by Nica Richards.

This article first appeared on Caxton publication Pretoria Rekord’s website, by Sipho Jack. Read the original article here.

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