Bogus payments to SAPS were intended for Badul, court told

2012-09-13 00:00

A LOCAL businessman and police reservist told the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday that the SA Police Service made three deposits into the account of his jointly owned company, Umnotho Wezwe Trading Enterprise, in 2009, even though no work was performed for the service.

Thamsanqa Shezi told Judge Rashid Vahed and two assessors that his business partner, France Bhengu — who worked at Mountain Rise police station at the time — had told him on each occasion that the money “belongs to the ‘larney’” meaning the station commissioner of Mountain Rise, director Hariram Badul.

However, he was unable to say whether or not the money was paid to Badul.

He testified that three payments, of R29 990, R16 965 and R12 730, were deposited into Umnotho Weswe’s account between May and September 2009.

Shezi said he and Bhengu and their wives, Nobuhle Bhengu and Nokuphina Shezi, had established the company in 2006 with the aim of securing tenders from government departments.

Shezi said that when he received the first SMS informing him of a deposit of R29 990 from the SAPS into Umnotho Wezwe’s bank account, he had immediately called Bhengu, who told him the “money belongs to the ‘larney’”, referring to Badul.

Because he and Bhengu were joint signatories to their bank account, he had accompanied Bhengu to withdraw the cash. They were only able to draw R29 500 due to bank charges that had to be deducted.

Later, at the Mountain Rise police station, he had observed Bhengu and Stanley Naidoo “fighting over the shortfall”.

The trial is proceeding.

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