A joint investigation has led to the arrest of a 50-year-old senior public prosecutor based in East London in connection with the disappearance of case dockets.
The suspect was arrested by a team of officers from the Anti-Corruption Unit, 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 identified a threat after receiving reports of continuous and numerous missing case dockets in the East London Magistrate’s Courts in 2016.
He said the missing dockets included two drunk driving cases. “In one of the cases, the victim [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 senior prosecutor again started persuading the victim to pay more money for the disappearance of the reconstructed docket.
“The senior prosecutor persuaded the victim to pay R5 000 to help him escape prosecution, promising that the docket would be destroyed. This brought the amount pocketed from the victim to R25 000 in total.
Kinana further said “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”.
Eastern Cape acting police commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile said he was disappointed with the arrest of the senior prosecutor.
Patekile said “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.
“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 said 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.