Avatar photo

Compiled by Devina Haripersad

Police officers get bail after ‘defeating ends of justice’ in smuggled cigarettes case

The police members were arrested for their involvement in truck attempting to cross the border with illicit cigarettes.

Two members of the South African Police Service (Saps) were granted bail earlier this week after appearing before the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court in the North West for their alleged involvement in defeating the ends of justice.

According to reports, the incident that led to their arrest occurred on Friday, 21 July 2023, at the Skilpadshek Port of Entry, where a truck driver was apprehended for attempting to smuggle illicit cigarettes into the country.

ALSO READ: North West police officer in court for ‘altering’ sick note

The officers involved were Sergeant Omphitlhetse Joseph Rantlhoa, aged 48, and Sergeant Kabo Nicholas Molebatsi, aged 47.

Smuggled cigarettes

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, said that it was discovered that despite Sergeant Rantlhoa’s confirmation of conducting a search of the truck, the smuggled cigarettes were still found.

“This raised suspicion and prompted an investigation, revealing that the two officers had allowed the truck to pass without a proper search. As a result, the Provincial Anti-Corruption Investigation Unit (ACIU) took swift action and arrested both officers,” Mokgwabone said.

They have since appeared in court and were granted R2 000 bail each.

Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant-General Sello Kwena condemned the actions of the two officers, labeling them as “absolutely unethical” and “intolerable”. Kwena emphasised that such misconduct tarnishes the image of the entire South African Police Service.

Both the accused men will appear again before the Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court on 24 August 2023.

Fake doctor’s note

Earlier this month, another police constable appeared in court for allegedly submitting a fake sick note to her employer.

The incident took place on 17 March 2023 when the constable submitted a supposed doctor’s note claiming to be ill.

ALSO READ: Cop arrested for submitting fake sick note to her boss

The note, reportedly from a private practice where her boyfriend is employed as a circumcision agent, was meant to justify her absence from work. Nevertheless, doubts arose, leading to an anti-corruption probe to verify the legitimacy of the medical excuse.

Sergeant Mahlomola Kareli, the police spokesperson, verified that the investigation uncovered the note to be a fraudulent document, and it was alleged that the constable’s boyfriend played a substantial part in fabricating it.

Following these findings, both the 31-year-old constable and her 47-year-old boyfriend were arrested on 27 July 2023 and presented before the Selosesha Magistrate’s Court.

Read more on these topics

illicit cigarettes North West Police