History made with mass police arrests

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Duane Petrus – History was made in the country yesterday with the arrests of 23 police officers from the northern Free State, who were allegedly involved in illegal mining activities.

Police spokesperson, Solomon Makgele, says there have never been so many police officers on the wrong side of the law, all involved in the same case.

The arrested officers include 2 Captains, 5 Warrant Officers, 2 Sergeants, 11 Constables, an admin clerk and a reservist from the Thabong and Welkom police stations.

Makgele added that more arrests will be made during the day, but he would not divulge exactly how many.

"The Free State police have been hard at work to ensure that we have very strong evidence in order to obtain warrants of arrest, and we believe we wil be able to ensure convictions through the courts," he said.

He says the SAPS intends on suspending the arrested officials.

They will appear in the Welkom magistrate court tomorrow to face charges ranging from contravention of the precious metals act, defeating the ends of justice, money laundering, theft and corruption.