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Joburg 'cop gang' using real cops?

2012-05-17 07:46

FRIEND OR FOE? The Gauteng police service has again been brought under scrutiny as it has emerged that some of the members of a police gang hijacking and robbing Gauteng drivers may, actually, be actual officers.

JOHANNESBURG - A gang posing as police officers has been targeting the East Rand and Johannesburg's northern suburbs, Gauteng police have said, with a top official admitting police members might be involved.

He also admitted that SIX HUNDRED Gauteng officers had been arrested for various crimes in the past 18 months.

The areas being targeted are Benoni, Germiston, the N17, Beyers Naude Drive and the N14 near Dieplsoot. Five cases have recently been reported and the circumstances of each incident are similar.

Acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Pumza Gela said three to five people in an unmarked car - the gang uses mostly white Golfs - were hijacking and robbing people after-hours when it was not safe to stop.


"It cannot be excluded that police members are conniving with [these] criminals," Gela said before adding, "This gang is carrying high-calibre weapons."
He urged residents not to stop if they were indicated to do so by people in an unmarked vehicle using blue lights.

"Don't stop. Look for the safest place such as a garage or a police station. If it's a law-abiding officer, he will follow you."

Drivers pulled over by someone claiming to be an officer in an unmarked car should demand their credentials.

Gela's caution follows news that about 600 Gauteng police officers have been arrested in the past 18 months, although Gela said 99% of officers were "good".

"There may be corrupt members in our ranks but it's not all of us. It's a drop in the ocean."


Gela said police management was taking back police uniforms not in use to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and a new system had been put in place with regard to the issuing of state firearms.

He urged the public to report the registration plates of suspicious vehicles.

Gela also urged affected drivers to report the case immediately, saying the challenge for police was that many hijackings and robberies were reported - sometimes days - later.

"At times there are gaps of about two hours in between ... the vehicle could be outside the province by then," Gela said.

If cases were reported immediately, police would be dispatched to the scene straight away, he said.

WHEELS24 SAYS: Is this senior officer living in the real world? Any ordinary driver refusing to stop for a police car - real or not - is likely to be shot at. If you've just been hijacked and robbed late at night your cellphone is sure to have gone - how do you call for help? What is suspicious about a cruising white VW Golf? And why, oh why, are the senior cops still in their jobs when 600 of their men are alleged criminals?

Let's have YOUR views in the Readers' Comments section below - and no profanity, please, or racial innuendo.

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