My intuition alerted me to ‘irregular corruption cabal’- whistleblower cop

2017-05-03 22:01
Former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer arrives at the High Court for what is expected to be the start of his corruption trial. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer arrives at the High Court for what is expected to be the start of his corruption trial. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town – A Goodwood station commander’s intuition and feeling of unease led her to open an inquiry into apparent cosy relationships between a businessman and several high-ranking officials in Cape Town, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

The inquiry five years ago eventually led to Brigadier Hansia Hansraj, now station commander at Cape Town central police station, being called to testify for the State on Wednesday.

Facing her in court on a slew of charges including corruption were businessman Salim Dawjee, former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer, and three brigadiers - Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Collin Govender.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

She started off composed and confident but appeared to hold back a variety of emotions as she detailed her interactions with Dawjee.

Guided by prosecutor Billy Downer, Hansraj said she became increasingly frustrated and concerned with his behaviour.

She painted a timeline in 2012 of several encounters that left her “astonished”, “uncomfortable”, “shocked” and “upset”.

Dawjee apparently complained a lot about the service delivery that her police station offered, she said, and consistently interfered.

She was left with the impression that he was very close to Lamoer, had insight into internal operations and had the ability to influence transfers to other stations.

The way he strode around her station made her wonder whether he thought he had the “status of a general in the police”.

Favours for police

On two occasions, she witnessed Dawjee chatting to Lamoer on the phone – referring to a plan to have dinner with him one time and an arrangement to pick up Lamoer’s daughter another time.

“I was not intimidated by that. I can stand up for myself,” said Hansraj.

“Obviously there is some sort of relationship that is there and we as members are obviously supposed to feel fearful of that.”

She tried to set up an appointment with Lamoer to discuss her concerns but apparently never received a response.

When she raised Dawjee using Lamoer’s name with Van der Ross, he apparently said he had seen Lamoer at a golf event and he had asked Van der Ross to sort the matter out himself.

“That would mean nobody has addressed it and it means I need to sort it out myself."

She opened an inquiry in March 2012.

Downer asked what she was referring to in the inquiry document when she spoke about “admissions Dawjee made on giving gifts and rendering favours to police members”.

She said that Dawjee had spoken about how he would help police officers who arrived at his towbar fitting business.

“An officer’s house was burnt and he sorted it out. When I spoke to him I said we have processes in the police, [they must] follow the processes. I am not here to accept anything.”

Her testimony continues on Thursday.

Read more on:    police  |  arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  corruption

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