Appeal court grants businessman Dawjee leave to appeal sentence

2018-10-03 16:06
Salim Dawjee. (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Salim Dawjee. (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has granted businessman Salim Dawjee leave to appeal his effective six-year jail term for corruption and other offences.

Judges Nigel Willis and Baratang Mocumie delivered their ruling last week, according to an SCA notice.

Defence lawyer William Booth had handled Dawjee's application to the appeal court.

The SCA granted leave to appeal to a full bench of the Western Cape High Court, for his sentence only.

Dawjee had failed with his initial bid for leave to appeal in the high court in May.

High Court Judge Rosheni Allie said at the time she was not convinced that there was a reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion on the sentence.

"I am not persuaded that another court would have any basis to interfere with the exercise of the court's discretion."

She said the court demonstrated a measure of mercy and she was not persuaded there had been a "material misdirection".

Dawjee was sentenced in May to an effective six years in jail for corruption, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

His longstanding friend, retired Western Cape provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer was also sentenced to an effective six years in jail, while former brigadiers Darius van der Ross and Kollin Govender effectively received sentences of two and four years respectively for corruption.

The three decided not to appeal and have been serving their sentences in Malmesbury.

The trial had revolved around gratifications the police officials received in exchange for interventions or preferential treatment for Dawjee at some stage.

Allie said in her judgement that Dawjee used SAPS "as his own fiefdom".

She added that she chose direct imprisonment over correctional supervision because corruption was serious and had consequences for the police and the community it served.

Dawjee's lawyer William King had argued that the court should see Dawjee's offences in context.

He reiterated that another court may find that it was more appropriate to impose a sentence of correctional supervision for a first offender who received no financial benefit.

Booth said that Dawjee is out on bail pending the finalisation of his matter and that no high court date has yet been set.

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