Three suspects were arrested for extortion after attempting to stop the construction of a development in Pretoria. The trio reportedly intimidated employees and said that no further work would take place at the construction site unless their demands were met, according to the police.

TRIO ARRESTED FOR EXTORTION

The three suspects – aged 30, 35 and 45 – face charges of extortion, harassment and intimidation, according to Gauteng police. The trio allegedly stormed the construction site in Silverton, Tshwane and threatened the site manager and employees and demanded that the project comes to a halt unless they are given a stake in the project, said South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo.

“The Police’s Provincial Tasks Team based at Tshwane District was notified of the intimidation and immediately proceeded to the scene and found the suspects who were stopping the project,” said the spokesperson.

The suspects were charged and are expected to appear before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 21 July.

The acting provincial police commissioner Major General Tommy Mthombeni welcomed the arrests and said that individuals who interfere with “legally operating developers will be dealt with decisively.”

“We will not allow hooligans who act against legal projects and pursue their unlawful conducts by harassing and intimidating other people,” said Mthombeni.

HAWKS BUST HOME AFFAIRS AGENT AND TAXI OPERATORS FOR CORRUPTION

In an unrelated matter, the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation in Pretoria arrested three suspects – two men and a woman – and charged them with corruption and extortion on Saturday, 17 July.

“On Saturday, the investigation team swiftly responded to a suspected extortion incident reported involving the 37-year-old Boitumelo Anna Kope employed by the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria as a call centre agent,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

According to the police, Kope allegedly demanded R250 000 from the person who alerted the authorities and claimed she would rectify an allegedly fraudulent document that would enable a quicker citizenship application process.

Kope was arrested with R15 000 in entrapment cash while her accomplices, taxi drivers named Wilson Modike Mohale, 25, and Sibusiso Jones Tshabalala, 32, were also apprehended at Bloed Mall in Pretoria.

Later, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court provisionally dropped the charges against Mohale and Tshabalala while the investigation continues. Kope, however, was remanded in custody until next Monday when she will lodge a formal bail application.

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Presh JM Reporter

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