Interpreter 'tried to bribe prosecutor'

2014-02-06 11:18


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Mlondi Radebe, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - A 31-year-old court interpreter appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a corruption charge for allegedly trying to bribe a public prosecutor.

It is alleged that Dudu Happiness Sithole, of Ohlanga Township in Durban North, tried to bribe regional court public prosecutor Simo Selby Ngwabi at his office on 4 February to make a house-breaking and theft case involving her brother-in-law “vanish”.

Sithole, who worked as a casual interpreter at the Verulam court, was arrested while counting out the R5 000 that she was going to use to pay the prosecutor.

The State has alleged that Sithole had approached the prosecutor on 27 January, shortly after her brother-in-law, Hardwick California, and his co-accused, Stanley Phiri and Innocent Khumalo, had appeared in the Pietermaritzburg court.


They are on trial for housebreaking and theft at a cellphone store in August 2012 where they allegedly stole airtime vouchers, Blackberry cellphones, laptops, jewellery and R250 000 in cash. They are also charged with entering South Africa without legal documents.

When the case adjourned this week, Sithole allegedly approached the prosecutor and said she was willing to pay R5 000 to make the case go away.

They then arranged to meet in his office for the payment after she had made a withdrawal at the bank.

The prosecutor alerted police and together they set a trap.

Sithole was arrested during the tea break when she was counting the money in the prosecutor’s office.

Magistrate Ashin Singh adjourned the matter until 13 February, with Sithole in custody. He ordered the investigating officer to appear before him to provide reasons why Sithole should be released on bail.

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