Saleem Dawjee to take fight over six-year jail term to SCA

2018-05-14 21:06

Businessman Saleem Dawjee will apply directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein for leave to appeal his jail term for corruption and other offences, his lawyer William King announced on Monday.

This was after a similar application by Dawjee failed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, following his sentencing last week.

High Court Judge Rosheni Allie said 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".

READ: Court grants Lamoer and co a weekend away from jail

Dawjee was on Thursday sentenced 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 began serving their sentences in Malmesbury on Monday after deciding not to appeal.

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.

(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)

King argued on Monday that, while Dawjee may have made a nuisance of himself with the police force, behaved badly and sworn, it was not criminal to have a bad nature.

"What he was doing, he was acting like an arrogant little boy, throwing his toys out and I would respectfully submit that a court would in due course say '47 years for that? A bit heavy.'"

The police officials, and not Dawjee, had asked for the money, King said.

"His benefit in return was for preferential treatment for legitimate complaints. He was asking to be first in the queue."

While King said this was wrong, he believed 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.

State advocate Billy Downer said some offences were too grave to merit correctional supervision.

He believed Dawjee was lucky the court ordered that some of his sentences run concurrently.

"The court was extremely generous in making unrelated counts run together. Some were committed independently of each other."

Dawjee was granted R10 000 bail, pending the outcome of his application for leave to appeal to the SCA.

Allie also granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit a confiscation order of R50 000 against Dawjee on Monday afternoon.

He would have 30 days to pay the amount.

Read more on:    saleem dawjee  |  cape town  |  crime

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