Cop axed for using police chopper to help his lover

2014-09-27 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — A prominent Bloemfontein detective has been axed after he was found guilty of using a police helicopter to help his girlfriend in a maintenance case.

Warrant Officer Richard Botha was given his marching orders after 26 years on the force when he was found guilty at an internal disciplinary hearing on three counts related to the abuse of the helicopter.

It was found that he persuaded the chopper’s crew to take aerial photos of his girlfriend’s former husband’s house. This was in a bid to help her prove that the ex, Piet Strydom, could afford R8 000 a month maintenance for his two teenage children, because his house was big.

Strydom, who reported Botha to the provincial office of the public protector last year, said he is relieved that justice was done.

He said Botha has been tormenting him for ages, and lied that a parachutist friend had taken the pictures. He added he is considering a civil claim.

Botha declined to comment on the case, but said he hopes to get his job back. “I’m a policeman and I will die as one. I protect and serve.”

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