Cape cop felt isolated after launching inquiry into alleged corruption

2017-05-04 18:29
Former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer arrives at the High Court for what is expected to be the start of his corruption trial. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer arrives at the High Court for what is expected to be the start of his corruption trial. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town - The policewoman who was said to have exposed an alleged network of corruption in the Western Cape on Thursday described how she felt increasingly isolated.

Brigadier Hansia Hansraj said her grievances were ignored after she had launched an inquiry into apparent cosy relationships between businessman Salim Dawjee, former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and others in 2012.

At the time she was the Goodwood police station commander.

"It really frustrated me and I was sent to various officers," she told prosecutor Billy Downer during their trial.

"Nobody was interested and in the meantime, I was left to deal with the stress and emotions and come to work."

She accused Dawjee of "having a field day in the media by defaming me," without Lamoer's office offering protection and with her hitting dead ends in pursuing some recourse.

Inspection target

She felt her station was targeted for inspections and falsely listed as a "serious crime" station.

This was despite it being the fifth most efficient station at the time, and her winning station commander of the year in 2012/13.

Documents to this effect were shown in court, with Lamoer's signature on the commander award.

Facing her in court on a slew of charges including corruption were businessman Dawjee, Lamoer, and three brigadiers - Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Collin Govender.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Hansraj recalled attending a carols by candlelight event in 2012 at which Lamoer, Dawjee and Sharon Govender were present.

While Dawjee was making a speech, she said he looked at her and indicated she should be more involved in similar events.

"I have no problem in engaging with partnerships, but I will not engage with partnerships that will contribute to further problems."

Provincial commissioner instructions

Dawjee apparently then said to the crowd: "Share your money with the police members so they will not be corrupt."

Hansraj said she would not have allowed such comments at a platform like that.

At one stage, she was sick in hospital and appointed an officer she trusted as acting station commander.

She said a police officer instructed by the provincial commissioner phoned her to say she should hand over her laptop, cellphone and office keys to him.

"Not ever in my career has this happened."

She recalled only handing over her office keys.

"I said I am not dead. I am alive, I am still kicking. You can enjoy my desk for now but I will still be back."

The officer apparently apologised and said he was just complying with instructions.

Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Yaseen Rawoot questioned her recall of the first time she met his client Dawjee.

He wondered why she had described his behaviour as erratic. She said he was shouting and hyperventilating. He was also pushy.

"My instructions are that when he met you for the first time, it was a simple 'Hi, how are you, my name is so and so,'" Rawoot said.

Hansraj said she only recollected certain parts of the conversation.

She had also testified that Dawjee soon invited her over for breakfast at his house.

Rawoot said his client was amicable and had only suggested they get together for coffee sometime. She said it may have been possible.

The trial resumes on Monday.

Read more on:    police  |  arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  corruption  |  crime

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