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Bungling South African cops let prisoner escape – so they abduct innocent man off the street

Bungling South African cops let prisoner escape – so they abduct innocent man off the street and arrest him as a REPLACEMENT

  • The man was out shopping when he was handcuffed and thrown into a police car
  • Despite protesting his innocence, he was put into a cell at a police station
  • But when a detective arrived, the two officers’ attempted cover up was caught
  • Both cops were charged with kidnap, defeating the ends of justice and fraud 


Two bungling police officers in South Africa have been arrested for kidnapping an innocent man off the street as a replacement for an escaped prisoner. 

The shocked shopper found himself handcuffed and in a police car accused of housebreaking and theft having been switched for the criminal.

Despite protesting his innocence the cops in Cape Town, South Africa, threw the man into the cells at Maitland police station to await magistrates.

Pictured: Cape Town Magistrates Court, where two police officers appeared after kidnapping an innocent man off the street as a replacement for an escaped prisoner

His pleas that he had only been out to pick up some groceries fell on deaf ears and he spent the night behind bars until a detective arrived in the morning.

The detective realised when checking the case file and listening to the innocent man’s story that the officers had ‘switched suspects’ after their man escaped.

Both cops were charged with kidnap, defeating the ends of justice and fraud, and the innocent man was given a lift back home by red-faced officers.

Magistrates heard Warrant Officer Ricardo Snyman and Sergeant Sibuyiselo Bentso were caught out as the arrested man looking nothing like the suspect.

A source close to the case said: ‘The suspect had been arrested for breaking into a house and theft but the officers realised he needed medical attention.

‘They took him to the Somerset Hospital in Sea Point for treatment but an officer who was left to guard the suspect but he managed to escape.

‘So the two senior officers decided that as the police station knew they had a suspect that they had to arrive with one so they arrested a random guy.

‘They thought they would be in big trouble for letting the right man escape’.

Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said: ‘The officers after losing their suspect allegedly found another man on the street who they detained in his place.

‘They did not inform anyone of what had happened.

‘It was only the next day when the suspect was processed the detective realised the person did not fit the description of the person who was originally arrested’ he said.

The matter was referred to the Anti-Corruption Unit and after an investigation the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to prosecute and the pair were arrested.

The Western Cape provincial government Member of the Executive Council for Community Safety Albert Fritz said: ‘The allegations in the case are quite disturbing.

‘I cannot believe that members of our South African Police Service would just arrest an innocent person because the actual suspect in the case managed to get away’.

The two suspended police officers appeared at Cape Town Magistrates Court and were given bail of £100 each and the case was adjourned until October 27. 

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