Convict smuggle sergeant - State

2014-08-14 21:42
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The State called on Thursday for the conviction of a former police sergeant accused of receiving a bribe to take a food parcel with dagga hidden in it to a prisoner at a Cape Town police station.

Former Sergeant Cornelius Wessels has pleaded not guilty before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, to charges of corruption and dealing in or possession of dagga.

The prisoner was in fact part of a undercover police operation aimed at trapping the sergeant, who was suspected of smuggling dagga and other substances to prisoners in the cells.

Standing orders at the police station forbid police officials from taking food parcels to prisoners in the cells.

Although aware of the prohibition, Wessels told the court that he felt pity for the man in the cell, and he took the parcel to him without even checking the contents.

He was not aware that the parcel had dagga hidden inside, he told the court.

Legal Aid defence lawyer Hayley Lawrence challenged the validity of the undercover operation, alleging that it went beyond the purpose of merely creating an opportunity for the target to commit an offence.

At Thursday's proceedings, at her request, the court viewed closed circuit video footage of the cells during the operation.

Prosecutor Ezmeralda Johnson said the operation was set up after Wessels had been pointed out as one of the culprits smuggling drugs to the prisoners.

She added: "The whole purpose of the operation was to uncover the corrupt official doing the smuggling."

Two agents were used in the operation, one to pose as a prisoner locked in a cell, the other to hand the forbidden food parcel to Wessels, together with a R100 bribe.

Opportunity to offend

The prosecutor said an honest police official would have refused outright to even accept the food parcel, in accordance with standing orders.

"The only reason why the accused did not refuse the parcel, was because he was engaged in illegal activities.

"At no time did he refuse the parcel, or tell the agent to go away," she said.

She said the trap did not go beyond merely giving the accused an opportunity to commit an offence and, even if it did, it did not render the trial unfair, as contended by the defence.

She said the operation was approved by the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions, with guidelines that were substantially complied with by those involved.

The DPP approval was based on suspicions that corrupt police officials were smuggling illegal substances to prisoners in the cells, she said.

The defence will present its closing argument on Friday.

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Jordaan missing in action

2016-09-25 00:00

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.