Top cop bust for solicitng R6 000 bribe

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The independent complaints directorate has apprehended a senior Durban police officer in a sting operation involving "a R1000 bribe".

Inspector Nkosinathi Mbatha was arrested after a complainant - who's child had been detained at Westville Prison for allegedly being involved in a robbery in the Brighton Beach area - reported him to the ICD.

It is believed that the complainant was unhappy with an "arrangement" with police who wanted a bribe to release his detained child.

The complainant, who claimed that the police were nagging him to pay the bribe, reported the matter to the ICD.

ICD provincial head Tabisa Ralo confirmed that they had "trapped" the policeman after receiving a complaint.

"Our office received a complaint of corruption, extortion and defeating the ends of justice from the complainant at the beginning of October," Ralo said.

"He alleged that his child was arrested on Brighton Beach a month ago and was detained at Westville Prison."

It is alleged that Mbatha had initially asked the complainant to pay him R6000 for the release of his child.

Ralo said Mbatha allegedly nagged the complainant by calling him incessantly demanding the bribe.

"We then went to the director of public prosecution to ask for permission to set up a trap. Our application was granted.

"The police member fell for the trap and was arrested on the spot."

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Jay Naicker confirmed that Mbatha fell for a trap set up by the ICD, who allegedly offered him a R1000 bribe in "marked notes"

He said the officer was arrested in Durban where he was stationed after taking a bribe from the complainant at a "specified" meeting point.

"He appeared in court the same day and was granted bail of R 2500," Naicker said.

"We encourage other community members to report such things. The department will institute a disciplinary probe against the member, which will run concurrently with the criminal case."