It did not seem like a tall ask. He offered R500 to a police officer towards some “cold drink” to help get himself out of trouble and keep the cops off his trail. But the man, a suspect in a theft case, did not bargain on the cop refusing to be bribed. Once he was nabbed, he sweetened the deal by throwing in an extra R1 200, but this was also refused, and now he will face the might of the law.
Kempton Park-based Detective Constable Mlungisi Mhlongo is our hero for this week for demonstrating how a simple but honest act is valuable in the fight against crime.
The town’s Kempton Express reports that a trailer was found abandoned in the Pomona area on the evening of 25 June. The police were alerted, and upon investigating, Mhlongo discovered that it was filled with skincare products with an estimated value of about R800 000.
The newspaper does not provide details of how the cold drink man, who is the supposed owner of the consignment, got hold of Mhlongo. The man is alleged, however, to have sent the R500 to Mhlongo via the eWallet service, inadvertently falling into the constable’s trap. Upon his arrest, he was charged with theft and bribing a police officer.
“During the investigation and tracing of the alleged suspect, it’s alleged the suspect contacted Mhlongo and told him that he had already transferred to him an amount of R500 via eWallet on July 10,” said Kempton Park police spokesperson Jethro Mtshali. “When Mhlongo asked what the money was for, the suspect told him it was for a cold drink. The detective withdrew the money and kept it on him while he continued to lure the suspect to see him first.”
About a week later, added Mtshali, Mhlongo received information that the suspect had been identified at another area of Kempton Park. “He was brought into Kempton Police Station for detention where he allegedly tried to bribe the officer with a further R1 200.”
Once again Mhlongo refused to take the bribe, and the R500 withdrawn earlier would be used as evidence in the case, said Mtshali.