THREE senior West Rand organised crime unit officers facing drug-smuggling charges in the Johannesburg high court have been served with letters of suspension, Gauteng police said yesterday.
Senior Superintendent Noxolo Kweza said Senior Superintendent Dumisani Petros Jwara, 43, Inspector Mpho Victor Jwili, 38, and Captain Ratsheki Landro Mokgosani, 39, were given the letters of suspension without pay on Friday.
The letters were served after Jwara was granted bail of R15 000 and Jwili and Mokgosani bail of R10 000 each on Thursday. They were released on Friday.
Their attorney, Nardus Grové, confirmed that he had received the letters and the matter had been referred for arbitration.
"We will challenge the legality of their suspension," he said.
The three officers are on trial on 13 charges, including drug dealing, fraud and racketeering They have pleaded not guilty.
They were charged with Captain Sakhephi Caiphus Shange, who died of an unknown illness in police custody in July.
The officers applied for bail in March but the application was denied. An appeal against the decision was dismissed. They applied for leave to appeal this but abandoned the motion before it was heard.
They were given letters informing them of pending disciplinary action against them shortly after their arrest. - Sapa