Cape Town cop gets jail time for asking for bribe, getting colleague to cover it up

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Cape Town police officer Denwin Jantjies was jailed for fraud and corruption.
Cape Town police officer Denwin Jantjies was jailed for fraud and corruption.
  • A Cape Town police officer has been sentenced to six years in jail.
  • He was found guilty of asking for a bribe to release two people he had arrested.
  • He also asked another police officer to cover it up for him and to submit a false statement.

A Cape Town police officer has been sentenced to an effective six years behind bars for accepting a bribe and asking a colleague to cover it up.

According to a National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) statement, the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court sentenced Detective Sergeant Denwin Jantjies to five years in prison for fraud and three years for corruption. The court ordered that two years of the sentence for corruption should be served concurrently with the sentence imposed for fraud.

READ | Senior provincial government official among 3 arrested in connection with R36m SAPS tender fraud

According to the statement, the charges stemmed from an incident in August 2015 when three men – Mandlakayise Mathe, Siyabulela Mbengashe and Siyasonga Jacob – were arrested in Maitland for the alleged possession of drugs. Mathe had R7 960 in his possession.

The case was allocated to Jantjies, who told his commander about the arrest and told him the drugs were only found on Jacob.

The commander instructed him to obtain statements from Mathe and Mbengashe and to release them.

However, Jantjies demanded R2 000 from each of the men for their release.

The NPA said in the statement:

When Mathe and Mbengashe discovered later that they were not lawfully required to pay any money to secure their release from custody, they laid a complaint and the investigation revealed what happened. The accused received gratification for releasing Mathe and Mbengashe in contravention of his duty to uphold the law and release them without receiving payment.

The court heard that Constable Lizwi Ntengeshe was on standby as a detective at the Maitland police station on the day of the arrest of the three men.

It emerged that he wrote out statements in which he said he was present when Jantjies handed back the property, including the money, to the men.

He made another statement in which he indicated that he was present when Jantjies interviewed the men at the Maitland police station. He said he saw the accused counting the money and handing it to one of the men, and that he saw the man sign for receipt of the money.

Two days later, he recanted the two previous statements and said Jantjies influenced him and that he provided a false statement. He wrote that the accused told him that he would not get into trouble and that it was "just a statement".

According to the statement, advocate Kelebogile Lesie-Shale told the court: "He never conducted any one-on-one interviews with any of the persons arrested. He did not witness the handing over of the property by the accused to the persons at Maitland police station."

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