Witness changes ‘bribe’ testimony

2012-08-27 00:00

A WOMAN who testified on Friday that she obtained a job as a clerk in the SA Police Service in 2008 after being told her brother was going to “bribe” a director at Mountain Rise police station with R10 000 changed her version after being confronted with her original police statement.

The witness, Rejoice Zanele Mjwara, was giving evidence in the trial on racketeering charges of former Mountain Rise station commissioner Hariram Badul, Suresh Naraindath, Yunus Khan, Patrick Nkabini and Sigamoney Pillay.

In her police statement, which she made in 2009, Mjwara did not mention that the money she raised was to be paid to a “director”.

However, on Friday she testified in court that her brother, who worked at the police station, had told her the money was to be paid to “the director”.

Asked by Judge Rashid Vahed which version was correct, Mjwara said her statement was correct.

In her original testimony Mjwara had said she was unemployed and had asked her brother, Msingaphansi Bhengu, to help her secure one of the vacancies that were advertised by the SAPS in July 2008.

Mjwara said her brother told her to raise R10 000, which would be “paid as a bribe” so that she could be appointed to one of the posts.

“He told me the money would be paid to the director,” she said. She did not know who the director was.

She had raised the money by taking loans from her sisters, which she repaid after getting work at the SAPS in Camperdown.

Mjwara said her brother had introduced her to a man named “Stanley” who helped her to complete her application forms.

Later she was called to an interview at Davis Alexander House, and some time later she was given a post at Camperdown.

Under cross-examination by advocate Christo van Schalkwyk SC (representing Badul), Mjwara said she had been interviewed for by a panel of five people.

She confirmed that Badul was not among those who had interviewed her.

The defence challenged Mjwara over the difference between her testimony and her police statement in which she did not mention that the “bribe” was to be paid to a director.

In her statement Mjwara said her brother told her he could organise employment for her but she would have to pay R10 000.

Mjwara said after she managed to get the money she gave it to her brother.

Former Mountain Rise police inspector Stanley Naidoo is expected to resume his testimony in the case today. He fell ill last week while under cross-examination.

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