Docket thief in deal

2010-03-01 00:00

FORMER Pietermaritzburg public prosecutor Amos Ngcobo (40), who admitted he stole numerous police dockets in exchange for bribes, arrived at a plea bargain agreement with the state on Friday in terms of which he was given a wholly suspended six-year jail sentence and ordered to undergo three years’ correctional supervision.

Ngcobo — who is said to have a drinking problem — must pay the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) a total amount of R20 000 in monthly amounts of R1 500 starting from March 7.

He must also attend an orientation and life skills programme and Sanca’s alcohol abuse programme, and perform community service.

Ngcobo pleaded guilty to a total of eight counts — two of housebreaking and theft, one of theft, one of defeating the ends of justice and four counts of corruption.

The crimes were committed while he worked at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court as a prosecutor between October 2006 and July 2007.

According to a statement handed to the court by Ngcobo’s advocate, Louis Barnard, Ngcobo developed a drinking problem, which placed a burden on him financially and damaged his health.

While working in L-Court, which is the “drunken driving” court, Ngcobo noticed that it was easy to manipulate the system by concealing or stealing dockets, resulting in cases being delayed or ultimately withdrawn. He began to negotiate with accused people to steal dockets for money.

Ngcobo admitted that he from time to time hid or destroyed dockets.

On two occasions he broke into the L Court prosecutor’s office (when he was no longer the prosecutor) after hours to remove drunken driving dockets from the office.

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