Pretoria – Police management in Gauteng has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the incident in which a sergeant based at Alexandra police station was found intoxicated, inside a marked state vehicle in Limpopo.
The drunk police officer had a woman with him in the car when he was found on Sunday.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the member utilised the station’s vehicle without authority to travel to another province. The 36-year-old sergeant was arrested at Masemola in Limpopo,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello.
“A case of using a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent as well as a departmental case have been opened against the member for further investigations. No member of the service will be allowed to misuse or abuse state resources which are meant to serve the public.”
The SAPS in Gauteng has appealed to community members to report misuse of police vehicles and misconduct by police officials.
“Members of the public are urged to report any misuse of state resources and misconduct of police officials at any police station or at Gauteng Complaints Service Centre on 082 442 2000, or the National Service Complaints Call Centre on 0800 333 177,” said Sello.
Last week, the Hawks in Gauteng said they had arrested two people – including a police constable – and charged them with illegal dealing in pangolins and contravention of the National Environmental Management-Biodiversity (Nemba) Act. The two have since appeared in court.
Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, Gauteng spokesperson for the Hawks, said the two were arrested while using an SAPS vehicle to transport the injured pangolin.
“Authorities followed up on intelligence received regarding an illegal trade of a pangolin in the Cleveland area, central Johannesburg, on Friday,” said Mulamu.
“An intelligence-driven operation by the Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation in Germiston and Johannesburg, together with the Benoni K9, was conducted in Cyrildene where they intercepted and positively identified suspects’ white Toyota Verso with two occupants, reportedly on their way to meet with the potential pangolin buyer.”
On searching the suspects’ vehicle, the officers discovered that the Toyota Verso was registered to the SAPS, and attached to Mamelodi East.
The officers also found a “slightly injured and traumatised” pangolin and rescued it.
The pangolin was later taken to hospital for treatment and handed over to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
“The police official, Constable Hangwelani Emmauel Makhuvha, 37, and his co-accused, Samuel Shinyama, 57, were arrested and charged. During their court appearance, they were remanded in custody pending investigation,” said Mulamu.
“The resultant search of the suspects’ vehicles uncovered a police appointment certificate belonging to Constable Makhuvha. Gadgets and the state vehicle were seized for further investigation.”