South Africa Police Service members are entrusted with the responsility to prevent, combat and investigate crime, but there are few members who are in the service for the wrong reasons. Like the Former Warrant Officer Tlabo Maputla (54) who was stationed at SAPS-Westerburg as a detective.
Instead of investigating cases, he extorted money from the accused he had arrested for dealing in drugs.
On 13 October 2020, the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation members arrested Maputla for corruption after he had extorted R5900 from the victim. The Hawks investigation revealed that the former cop had previously demanded and received R6000 gratification from the victim whom he promised to destroy his docket and kept on demanding more.
After making a few court appearances, he was released on bail.
The Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Polokwane has on 11 March 2022 sentenced Maputla to 6 years imprisonment of which 2 years are suspended for 5 years on condition that he is not found guilty on similar offences during the period of suspension.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Thobeka Jozi has lauded the investigation team as well as the prosecution team for their meritorious efforts. ” It is very disappointing to arrest one of our own, yet it is satisfying to see rotten potatoes being removed from the service. We believe that even on other cases that we are busy investigating where public officials are allegedly involved in corruption there will be a successful prosecution and deterrent sentence” Major General Jozi concluded.