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THREE Tshwane Metro police officers who visited a pub in full police uniform were arrested yesterday and had their service pistols confiscated by members of the South African Police Service in Pretoria.
A 34-year-old inspector and two sergeants, aged 26 and 36, were arrested shortly before 4am following a tip-off by members of the public.
They did not commit a crime, but their offence was of a departmental nature.
They were allegedly spotted visiting the Paradise Pub in Doornpoort, Sinoville.
The owner of the pub in Airport Street would not comment on the incident, saying he was not present when it happened. He said the barlady on duty at the time of the incident was not available for comment.
The SAPS would also not comment on the matter and referred all enquiries to the Tshwane metro police.
The trio's arrest sparked anger among their black colleagues who said "everything was being done to cover up for the three officers".
"If they were black, everybody would be knowing who they were and they would have been suspended with immediate effect," said a black officer.
Console Tleane of the City of Tshwane community safety department confirmed the arrests but declined to comment on the allegations of a cover up.
He said the arresting police contacted Metro police offices and were "instructed by the latter to confiscate the members' weapons. The three were then set free."
Tleane said further details, including whether they were on duty or not, was expected to come out during the investigations.
Tleane said his department "views the incident in a serious light".
"It is for this reason that we are always upfront about alleged misdemeanours by our members."
He said metro police's legal section was investigating and might recommend suspension with the view of instituting charges of bringing the department into disrepute against the three officers.