Whistleblower cop got ‘breakfast invite’ from businessman accused of corruption

2017-05-03 18:59
Salim Dawjee (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Salim Dawjee (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Corruption accused businessman Salim Dawjee seemed eager to meet the Goodwood police station commander, and even invited her to his home for breakfast, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Brigadier Hansia Hansraj, who was called as the State’s second witness in the trial of Dawjee and others, said she heard a few years ago that he was adamant in wanting to meet the "Indian station commander".

She would later become the person who blew the whistle on what appeared to be a network of corruption, influence and gratification between him, former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and three brigadiers - Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Collin Govender.

They have pleaded not guilty to 109 charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering, involving R1.6m.

Hansraj said that, while on patrol near Dawjee’s shop in N1 City, she and a communications officer had decided to make introductions.

"I stopped by, and for me it was a meet and greet of a business owner in the area," Hansraj said.

He had said it was nice to meet her and seemed to have a lot of complaints about her police station, she said.

“I found his behaviour rather erratic, in that I could not understand why he was asking me a lot of questions."

She could also not understand why Dawjee had looked at her officer’s car parked outside and said that she must make sure he gets a new vehicle.

"I was astonished. At that stage I just left it as is."

Hansraj said she received an invite to his house in the early days.

'Do not go there to his place'

He apparently phoned her and indicated she should come to his house for breakfast on a Sunday morning, as both Brigadier Govenders would be there, and that she could also meet then-provincial community safety MEC Lennit Max.

She said she had told Collin Govender about the invite, and that he had said: "This man is mad. Do not go there to his place."

When she asked Sharon Govender, she apparently also said: "Don’t get involved there."

Hansraj said Dawjee had phoned her again and asked why she was not coming. She said she had given him some sort of excuse.

She also told the court about the drama surrounding a 2007 case involving Dawjee’s nephew.

Dawjee had apparently complained about a lack of feedback on the case, which involved the alleged unlicensed possession of a firearm.

On February 14, 2012, an upset visible policing commander, Lieutenant Colonel Vlok, told her he had gone to Dawjee’s shop to give him feedback on the case.

She said Vlok witnessed Dawjee on the phone with Van der Ross, getting "abusive and aggressive" about another officer.

"He mentioned that he would kick Captain Engelbrecht, a female operational commander in the poes, he will fuck her up. He indicated she is a racist."

Felt humiliated

Vlok reported that he was disgusted and had left the shop, after which Dawjee apparently came out to apologise.

Both Vlok and Engelbrecht made statements on the incident.

Hansraj said Engelbrecht had felt humiliated and wanted her to do something about it.

Six days later, she said Dawjee had come to her office and confronted her on his nephew’s case.

The court was shown a document on Wednesday that indicated that the case had already been withdrawn in 2011.

She said the events that later transpired made her feel that his issue was not actually with the docket.

Dawjee allegedly told her that the police inspectorate, for whom his brother worked, would be coming to her station. He apparently claimed it was a racist station and people would be transferred.

She was astonished and alarmed that a civilian and businessman would have insight into internal police arrangements.

Prosecutor Billy Downer indicated that all the people Hansraj had referred to would also testify.

The trial continues.

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

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