East London senior public prosecutor arrested after the disappearance of case dockets

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A senior public prosecutor was arrested in connection with the disappearance of court dockets.
A senior public prosecutor was arrested in connection with the disappearance of court dockets.
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  • A senior public prosecutor has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of court dockets.
  • The prosecutor, 50, was arrested by a team led by the Anti-Corruption Unit.
  • In one of the cases, the prosecutor allegedly solicited a bribe of R25 000 from a person who was arrested for drunken driving.

A joint investigation has led to the arrest of a senior East London prosecutor in connection with the disappearance of case dockets.

The 50-year-old was arrested by a team of officers from the Anti-Corruption Unit, who were working in conjunction with Crime Intelligence and a special task team.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the dockets started going missing in 2016.

Kinana said the Anti-Corruption Unit received reports of continuous and numerous missing case dockets in the East London Magistrate's Court in 2016.

The missing dockets included two drunk driving cases.

Kinana said:

In one of the cases, the [arrested drunk driving suspect] was asked to pay a sum of R20 000 in exchange for the destruction of the court docket. Consequently, the said [docket] went missing. However, police were able to reconstruct the docket and it was brought back to the court roll.

It is alleged that the prosecutor again started persuading the person to pay more money for the disappearance of the reconstructed docket.

"The senior prosecutor persuaded the [drunk driving suspect] to pay R5 000 to help him escape prosecution, promising that the docket would be destroyed. This brought the amount pocketed from the [suspect] to R25 000 in total.

"Following a long process of investigation, which started in 2019 by the Anti-Corruption Unit, the suspect started evading arrest. An intensive search was conducted and eventually he was found in the Amalinda Forest Two Houses and arrested following a warrant of arrest issued against him," Kinana said.

READ | Prosecutor arrested in undercover operation for alleged bribe to make case disappear

Eastern Cape acting police commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile said he was disappointed.

"Reports of civil servants being involved in corrupt activities are disturbing. These are the people who are expected to uphold the law and protect the image and resources of the government by ensuring that justice is served, and service delivery is not compromised.

Patekile said:

It is disappointing to learn that it is those who are assigned with such authority and trust who prey on the innocent and unsuspecting members of the communities. The law must take its course.

Patekile added that he appreciated the work done by the Anti-Corruption Unit and cautioned all those involved in corrupt activities to refrain from their actions or face the strong arm of the law.

The senior public prosecutor is expected to appear in the East London Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

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