Bust cops 'threatened witnesses'

EIGHT police officers and an informant will remain behind bars for the time being after allegedly threatening to kill witnesses.

Investigating officer Inspector Vincent Ngiba told the Protea magistrate's court yesterday that the nine - six men and three women - who are seeking bail - posed a danger to witnesses and should remain behind bars until the trial ended.

They were arrested early last month in Soweto.

The police officers, Captain Rosta Muthaphuli, Jane Mavuna, and Constables Gift Masheze, Richard Maswanganyi, Mlindeni Mntambo, Elijah Ndlela, Patience Manganyi and Mpumelelo Memele - and informant Albert Selepe - are charged with kidnapping, assault, armed robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.

"Mavuna was heard by a police officer, during an identity parade last Wednesday, saying that the case would end quickly because as soon as they were released on bail they would kill the witnesses."

It is alleged that Capt Muthaphuli received a call from Selepe informing her about a Nigerian druglord operating at Maponya Mall in Klipspruit.

Muthaphuli, Mavuna and Manganyi went to the mall and called for "back-up". The alleged druglord was searched and R25000, four cellphones and his wife's ID were found on him. They then drove to his wife's home in Diepkloof where, after discovering nothing, detained the wife and her mother and drove them to the man's house in Midrand.

They also allegedly sold the man's car - which was later recovered.

The bail hearing continues tomorrow.