Cops plead not guilty to bribe charge

2013-06-22 07:34

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Cape Town - The case against two police officers charged with corruption and extortion was postponed in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.

Taxi driver Wanana Gwadiso testified on Friday that Constable Mjatya Bukani and police reservist Nontando Mhlabeni demanded money to release him and return his confiscated minibus and the perlemoen (abalone) they found inside it, in December 2010.

The two have pleaded not guilty to a main charge of extortion and two counts of corruption.

Gwadiso told the court he and two passengers were arrested and locked in a cell at the Khayelitsha police station after the two officers found a bag of perlemoen in his taxi.

"On the way to the police station, Bukani offered to release me and the passengers and return the confiscated abalone and taxi if we pay," he said.

Gwadiso said he first offered R300, which Bukani said was too little. He increased it to R500, which Bukani accepted.

"At the police station he [Bukani] changed his mind about the amount, and demanded R1 000. The R1 000 was paid, and we were released without being charged."

Bukani claimed, through his lawyer Andre Pienaar, that Gwadiso was arrested, but later released, for illegally encroaching on a route belonging to the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta).

According to Bukani, Gwadiso was released from custody at Codeta's request. It merely wanted Gwadiso warned to stay off its route, he said.

According to Bukani, the arrests had nothing to do with the possession of perlemoen.

The case was postponed to 18 September.

Read more on:    police  |  cape town  |  corruption

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