An SAPS task force established to probe so-called "blue light" hijacking syndicates linked to police officers has been shut down, according to a report in The Times on Tuesday.
Last week, the 40-strong team was reportedly told to stop all investigations, just days before it was expected to carry out a number of big raids.
Officers were reportedly instructed to hand over information gathered during their investigations.
General Mzwandile Petros, Gauteng's police commissioner, told The Times that there was nothing untoward about the move, adding that such SAPS task teams were "never permanent".
"Nothing has been disbanded. [The task teams] depend on crime trends and we deploy our members accordingly and where our strategies dictate. I am comfortable with the progress made in this investigation and any movement of members is part of a new strategy and change of tactics," Petros said.
But an anonymous officer disagreed.
"There is a lot of rot in our ranks. Some of our own members are involved [in the blue light syndicates]. We know them but we cannot do anything because we need to catch them in the act," the officer told The Times.
"We have been given no reasons why we were shut down. All we were told was to stop everything, including gathering information on planned attacks, and locations of safe houses and weapons."
According to the newspaper, the team was ordered to "take out" members of the blue light syndicate.
"We were given these orders and then 48 hours later we were shut down. We were told to take two days off and then report back to our units," a policeman told The Times.
"It is clear we were doing our job just a little too well. We were about to carry out several raids, which were going to net the kingpins, including police officers.
"We had good successes. In three weeks, we arrested 38 suspects, recovered 34 hijacked cars, five firearms, R200 000 in cash, R200 000 worth of drugs and killed two suspects," he told the newspaper.
"It is clear someone is looking out for the wrong people's interests."