The Hawks – the elite crime-fighting unit within the SAPS often required to investigate corrupt political leaders and other police officers involved in corruption – has arrested two of its own members for alleged criminal activities.

Two officers stationed in Klerksdorp in the North West were taken into custody on Friday morning for alleged theft, defeating the ends of justice, possession of suspected stolen property and money laundering.

Allegations relate to nonferrous metals

According to a spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks), Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, the allegations relate to nonferrous metals.

Non-ferrous metals include aluminium, copper, lead, zinc and tin, as well as precious metals such as gold and silver.

Lieutenant Colonel Sebeko George Letshwenyo (52) and Warrant Officer Tshepo Ernest Lekaoa (50) who are members of the Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit in the province, were investigated following a tip-off alleging their collaboration in the alleged theft and sale of non-ferrous metals worth approximately R5 200.

Both suspects appeared briefly in court

"Both suspects made a brief appearance before the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court where they were released on warning. They are scheduled to appear again on 30 October for further investigation," Rikhotso said.

Despite their elite status, Hawks members are not immune from landing themselves in hot water.

In April, a colonel stationed with the Hawks in Pretoria was arrested, along with several relatives, for allegedly inviting them to a braai at his house in Jan Niemand Park in contravention of the lockdown regulations that were in force at the time.

Two others charged with drug offences

In 2016, two members of the Hawks attached to the Endangered Species and Precious Metals units in Pretoria were arrested and charged with fraud, forgery and uttering, perjury, and contravention of the drugs and drug trafficking act.

The pair were alleged to have fraudulently obtained and executed a search warrant at a residence in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

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