No reprieve for corrupt Cape Town official

2015-06-19 20:20

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Bellville - A former investigator in the City of Cape Town’s ombudsman’s office, recently jailed for four years for corruption, was refused permission on Friday to appeal his sentence.

Malcolm Fritz, 54, was brought into the court room in leg irons, to appear before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

During proceedings, he admitted his conviction on a corruption charge was correct, saying he only wished to appeal the severity of the sentence.

This prompted the magistrate to praise his honesty for accepting the court’s judgment.

"Most convicted offenders protest their innocence to the very end, [while] knowing, deep down, they are guilty. History will remember you for speaking the truth today," she said.

Fritz’s victim, Laurette September, had wanted to purchase the council house she occupied following the owner's death.

A friend put her in touch with Fritz – at the time an investigator attached to the City of Cape Town’s ombudsman office.

Fritz was "willing" to assist her, but requested a R1 000 payment.

September paid, from borrowed money, but Fritz then requested an extra R200, which she also paid from borrowed money.

She became suspicious when Fritz said the house would cost her R100 000, which she could not afford.

She opted out of the transaction and was only refunded R1 000 when she requested the money back.

Prosecutor Tracy Belelie told the court the sentence imposed was in line with other corruption cases involving public officers.

The sentence was not excessive, she said.

Sonnenberg refused Fritz leave to appeal on the grounds there was no legal or moral basis to grant it.

She added: “You were an ombudsman attached to the City of Cape Town and asking an indigent resident to pay for your services was both illegal and immoral.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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