Stolen Cheese: Cop's appeal fails

2012-04-04 00:00

A POLICEMAN found guilty of the theft of R113 958 worth of cheese failed in his appeal in the high court yesterday against his conviction and five-year jail sentence.

 

Nithianandan Moodley (40) was attached to the SA Police Service crime intelligence unit and was a policeman for 19 years.

Acting Judge Kobus Booyens with Judge Jerome Mnguni said that although the sentence was heavy it was also deserved in the circumstances of the case.

The Creighton Valley Farm cheese in question was part of a consignment that found its way from the Pick n Pay storeroom at Westmead and was offered for sale to another cheese distributor, Triple 3 Foods, on July 29, 2009.

The theft was discovered when the owner of Triple 3 Foods, Ingrid Vajdak, became suspicious and called Creighton Valley Farms to make inquiries.

According to her evidence in court, Moodley had arrived to deliver the cheese, was the person who told her he wanted cash for the cheese and said he could supply her regularly with chicken and chips.

Judges Booyens and Mnguni found the regional court at Pinetown had correctly rejected Moodley’s version that he was an innocent participant in the delivery of the cheese, and was unaware that the cheese was stolen.

He was charged with Stephan Govender (known as Malcolm) who worked as a barman at Moodley’s wife’s sports bar.

Govender pleaded guilty to the theft in another court and was fined R30 000 (plus three years’ imprisonment suspended for five years).

In his evidence Moodley claimed Govender asked to borrow his bakkie, but because he did not want to lend his vehicle he had offered to deliver the cheese himself.

Acting Judge Booyens said he could not believe that an experienced policeman like Moodley would not have “asked a few questions” about where Govender, a barman earning R2 000 a month, had obtained the cheese from.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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