Cape Town - An indictment by the State details the alleged web of corruption and racketeering involving senior Western Cape police officials - including Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer – and a shady businessman from the city’s northern suburbs.
The 120 page document describes how Mohammed Saleem Dawjee and his son Mohamed Zameer, the owners of two vehicle fitment centres in Goodwood and Parow, Cape Town, not only allegedly bribed Lamoer, police officers Brigadier Kolindren Govender, his wife Brigadier Sharon Govender and Brigadier Darius van der Ross, but used them at various points in attempts to bribe other police officers.
The bribes, or “gratifications” as it’s called in the State’s papers, are said to have started in November 2011 and involve 43 payments that saw the four officers pocket about R1.63m in total.
The bribes were given in the form of cash, payment for cars rented and bought by Lamoer and the Govenders and their family members, payment for Lamoer’s guest house accommodation and clothing store accounts, among other things.
Dawjee denies having a corrupt relationship with Lamoer, who he regards as a long-time friend but admits that he made a R20 000 payment into the top cop’s bank account for his daughter’s wedding.
They both live in Plattekloof, Cape Town.
In one instance in 2011, Dawjee is accused of offering a R5 000 bribe to a warrant officer to agree to get a court to set bail for a friend of his.
Another time February 2013, Dawjee allegedly offered a BMW and other cars to an officer.
The businessman also allegedly tried to get bribe Western Cape Hawks head, General Yolisa Matakata, with a mere R1 000 after he found out about the unit’s investigation into his and Lamoer’s dealings.
According to a Sunday Times report in November 2013, Dawjee was known for sending over large pots of curry on Fridays to the provincial police headquarters and for splashing out on plasma TVs, security cameras and Christmas parties for the police.
Dawjee’s dealing with his police friends seemed to be going well for him until Goodwood police station appointed a new commander in the form of Colonel Hansia Hasraj. She complained that this relationship with senior officers amounted to corruption and urged an investigation into it.
But Dawjee accuses Hasraj of having a vendetta against him.
The indictment further details how Dawjee’s tow-bar business was unfairly awarded a contract to provide fittings to police vehicles.
In 2013, the State alleges that Kolindren Govender assisted Dawjee in getting a gun from the police’s exhibit stores for a friend of Dawjee’s in exchange for R1 000. The gun had belonged to a woman whose husband had died a year earlier.
In total, the six accused face 109 charges.
The Govenders and Van der Ross hold high level positions in Western Cape policing as station and cluster commanders.
Lamoer has taken leave, effective on Friday, and Major general Thembisile Patekile has been named as acting provincial police commissioner.