Three police officers in KwaZulu-Natal who allegedly accused a man of selling cigarettes while sales were banned during lockdown, and forced him to pay them R3000, appeared in court on Monday and were granted bail.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, police spokesperson said the South African Police Service (SAPS) anti-corruption unit would continue to root out corrupt officers within the service’s ranks.

Gwala said the unit arrested the three officers, Warrant Officer Noranthan Baldav (50), Constable Ntuthuko Vincent Ngcobo (28) and Constable Innocent Makhiseni Xulu (34) on Monday for extortion.

He said the three briefly appeared before the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were each granted bail of R2000 and the matter was remanded to 15 January 2021.

Gwala also said “Their arrest came after the complainant alleged that on the night of 12 June 2020, the three police officers stationed at Phoenix arrived at his place of residence and accused him of selling cigarettes. They forced him to pay R3000 and also took his cigarettes to the value of R14,000. All the three suspects were identified and placed under arrest”.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula welcomed the arrests.

He added that “We would like to warn all those who are involved in criminal activities that the law will take its course”.