Top police officers arrested in graft crackdown

By Paul Richardson

(Bloomberg) – South African authorities arrested 15 people, including six senior police officers, for allegedly defrauding the state in one of the most high-profile crackdowns seen since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office in 2018 and set about revamping the law enforcement services.

Those detained in a pre-dawn raid by an anti-graft squad include officials in charge of procurement and managing the police vehicle fleet, the South African Police Service said in a statement sent by mobile phone Thursday. They face charges including fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering.

The National Prosecuting Authority is stepping up efforts to prosecute those responsible for corruption under former President Jacob Zuma scandal-tainted nine-year rule, when it’s estimated that more than R500bn ($29bn) was stolen from the government and state companies.

Thursday’s arrests follow an investigation into tender fraud that began in 2017 and was supported by the NPA, National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said in the statement.