Limpopo police arrested five people for allegedly impersonating police officers in Skierlik village near Thabazimbi on Monday.
The five, aged 27 to 44, were arrested after police received a tip-off about people masquerading as police officers at a local tavern.
One of them was armed with a firearm and wore a police reflector jacket, said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi.
"[Officers] swiftly responded and five suspects were cornered and arrested while trying to flee from the scene in a VW Polo. Police searched the vehicle and confiscated one SAPS bulletproof vest, one SAPS summer pair of trousers, two constable rank structures, one police belt, 9mm pistol, one magazine, live rifle ammunition, one reflector jacket and a motor vehicle," Seabi said.
The five will be profiled to determine if they were involved in other crimes, Seabi said.
"The origin of the recovered items will also be revealed by the ongoing police investigations."
The group will appear in the Thabazimbi Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of impersonating police officers, the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, driving under the influence of liquor and possession of suspected stolen property.