Top Cape cops paid me back in cash - businessman

2017-04-26 19:36
Salim Dawjee (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Salim Dawjee (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – A financial investigator who claimed that businessman Salim Dawjee helped high-ranking officers with expenses would not have seen that they actually reimbursed him in cash, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Yaseen Rawoot, for Dawjee, reminded Hawks investigator Captain Wynand Wessels that he had only had access to bank statements when drafting his report for the corruption trial of Dawjee and the cops.

“His version is that the money was paid back in cash and therefore would not be detectable on any statements,” Rawoot put to Wessels during cross-examination.

Wessels, the State's first witness, replied that he could not comment because he had no information to that effect.

On Tuesday, Wessels testified that petrol, car rentals, flight tickets and new cars were some expenses that Dawjee helped three high-ranking Cape Town police officers with.

Using bank statements, slips and other documents, he showed the court a pattern of payments between Dawjee, Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Collin Govender.

The officers, together with Dawjee and former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer, pleaded not guilty to 109 charges of corruption, racketeering, and money laundering involving R1.6 million.

They denied being involved in any form of criminal enterprise, explaining that there were legitimate and legal reasons for the payments.

Both Rawoot and Grant Smith, for Lamoer, tried to cast doubt on Wessels’s qualifications and expertise in accounting.

He replied that he was a member of International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, had completed certain subjects and exams on basic accounting, and had worked with financial documents for the past decade.

Smith asked why he did not approach the accused when investigating them.

“I did not assess by way of explanations. I worked with documents. My assessment would only change if there was documentary evidence,” he replied.

Smith wanted to know why Wessels’s report had started off with his client.

When he replied that he started with the most senior police rank, Smith said, “Is it not because accused 4 [Lamoer] is the big fish you want?”

Jumping up, Prosecutor Billy Downer said that if Lamoer’s defence had instructions that the investigation unlawfully or unfairly targeted his client, those should be put to the witness.

“Put on your boxing gloves and box,” Judge Rosheni Allie said with a smile to Smith.

He replied that he would retract his line of questioning.

Cross-examination would resume on Tuesday.

Read more on:    saps  |  arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  crime

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