On 21 January 2021, Queenstown Regional Court handed down a hefty seven-year sentence to former Constable Sipho Eric Nene from Queenstown Flying Squad for corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
The internal disciplinary investigation against the member resulted in his dismissal a few months after the corruption allegations were levelled against him.
According to information, some members of the Queenstown Flying Squad were protecting drug dealers by escorting them through the Queenstown precinct without being stopped by the law enforcement agencies while their consignment of drugs was in transit. The allegations were that the escorts were done at a fee and the amount varied depending on the appetite of that particular member.
The allegation was investigated by the Anti-Corruption Investigation Unit and entrapment was done which resulted in the arrest of former Constable Nene (38) on 31st January 2017 in Queenstown. He appeared in the Queenstown District Court on the 1st February 2017. He was released on a warning to appear on the next court date.
On the 21st January 2021 he was sentenced as follows:
Count 1: Corruption – sentenced five (5) years imprisonment
Count 2: Attempting to defeat or obstruct the Administration of Justice – sentenced two (2) years of imprisonment.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Another former member of the Unit, Warrant Officer Amos Rafu, 52 was also sentenced to five (5) years imprisonment for corruption on the 19 October 2020.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga said, “the police cannot and will not tolerate unethical behaviour or corrupt members within the SAPS. Citizens must at all times be served by professional, trustworthy and law-abiding police officers. We have repeatedly reiterated that police officers are not above the law and we are determined to root out corruption wherever and whenever it manifests”. “These corrupt officers who choose to ignore the SAPS Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics will be arrested and brought to justice” warned Lt Gen Ntshinga.
More cases are at a trial stage at the Queenstown Regional Court and more sentences are expected.
Submited By: The Office of the Provincial Commissioner : Eastern Cape