Two cops in court for corruption

2015-02-14 08:30
Nielen de Klerk, News24

Nielen de Klerk, News24

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Cape Town - A police warrant officer made photocopies of five R100 notes, and recorded their serial numbers, before placing the notes in a plastic bank bag, to be used in an undercover police operation to trap an alleged corrupt police captain, a court in Cape Town heard on Friday.

Warrant Officer Gert Botes testified at the trial of Captain Siyaza Patrick Siyale, 51, and colleague Wilfred Mentoor, 29. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, theft and defeating the ends of justice, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

Prosecutor Denzyl Combrink alleged that they accused the then president of the French South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Nicodemus Solly Moeng, of involvement in a black dollar scam, and demanded money in order not to arrest him.

Siyale alone is also charged with extortion or blackmail involving R1 800.

Botes told the court that Moeng approached a senior police officer about Siyale's demands, and that an undercover police operation was authorised to trap Siyale.

Moeng had arranged to meet Siyale at the McDonalds restaurant in Observatory, Cape Town, at 14:00, when he was to hand over the bag containing R500.

Botes said he and a colonel had parked near the restaurant, but out of sight of the venue where Moeng was to hand over the money to Siyale.

Botes added: "If Siyale had seen our car, or recognised any of us, Siyale would have gotten cold feet and abandoned the transaction, which we were anxious to avoid."

A group of police officials from the Intervention Unit, who were more involved in the trap, hid nearby and were ready to pounce on Siyale once Moeng gave the signal.

Asked the purpose of the trap, he said: "We had information that a police captain was involved in corruption, and needed to obtain evidence to prove it."

The moment Siyale had received the money, Moeng was to inform the colonel, and Botes and the colonel would move towards the restaurant.

Botes added: "Siyale had already been arrested, and his hands cuffed behind his back, when we arrived at the restaurant.

"As we drove up to him, Siyale recognised the colonel and exclaimed, 'you have caught me'," Botes said.

The charge sheet tells how a Congolese investor, David Kilato, duped Moeng into involvement in a lucrative investment, which turned out to be the black dollar scam.

Moeng was informed that the money would be couriered to him in three different lock-up safes.

According to the charge sheet, Moeng received the safes, but whilst on his way home with them he was stopped by Siyale and Mentoor.

It turned out that the safes were filled with black paper cut into the size of bank notes, and Siyale and Mentoor accused Moeng of involvement in the scam.

The case continues on February 26.

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