Former top cops, businessman to spend first night behind bars

2018-05-10 18:58

Two former high-ranking police officials, retired Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and his friend of more than 25 years, businessman Saleem Dawjee, will spend their first night behind bars on Thursday evening.

This was after the Western Cape High Court chose direct imprisonment over correctional supervision on Thursday morning because of the seriousness of corruption and its consequences for the police and the community they serve.

Dawjee received an effective six years in jail for corruption, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

READ: Former top cop Lamoer, Dawjee get effective 6 years in jail for corruption

Lamoer also received an effective six years in jail. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, of which two years were suspended for five years on condition that he was not convicted of corruption within that time.

Former brigadiers Darius van der Ross and Kollin Govender effectively received sentences of two and four years in jail respectively. 

Dawjee's business entity Towbars Cape was fined R60 000, of which R40 000 was suspended for five years.

(From left) Businessman Saleem Dawjee, former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and former cops Darius van der Ross and Collin Govender. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

On Thursday afternoon, the court proceeded to hear the first part of applications for their bail to be extended, pending the outcome of applications for leave to appeal their sentences next week.

It is understood that the four will be kept in custody at facilities in Worcester and Malmesbury overnight.

Advocate William King SC for Dawjee, argued that the men had shown during their trial that they had the "necessary upbringing, training and commitment" to comply with bail and not run away.

"The accused have fixed addresses, are of an age where they have no previous convictions, are people with a fixed income, and have liabilities regarding other people," he told Judge Rosheni Allie.

"These are people who cannot run away. Not for reason of sentence but because of their commitments."

Dawjee did not have an "overseas hideaway" and his finances had been taken away from him, the court heard.

"The most compelling argument is that at worse, Dawjee faces three years in jail because of the parole system. He will be out of jail within three years… because of his age or health. It would not surprise me if he were out even sooner than that," said King.

Lawyer Johnny Nortje said Lamoer and Govender did not need to show that compelling circumstances existed for bail to be extended in the interim.

He recommended that the men could report to their local police stations daily if needed.

Nortje said there was "no way" they would have access to the men to prepare their case for next week if they were held in prison over the weekend.

"It is in the interests of justice for lawyers to have access to the accused."

The State would make its submissions on Friday.

Allie reminded the parties that the court did not operate like a "sausage machine or conveyor belt".

She said she would endeavour to consider the issues overnight and attempt to give a ruling on Friday.

Read more on:    saleem dawjee  |  arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  crime

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