14 February 2017

South Africa: Corruption Trial of Top Cape Cops to Proceed After Obstacles Cleared

The corruption trial of former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and his co-accused is set to go ahead after issues around a provisional restraint order were cleared up.

Advocate Billy Downer, for the State, told the court on Tuesday that the parties had settled the matter and that it would not hold back the case.

He said all the accused had legal representation and financial issues had been sorted out.

"Whatever cash is available will be made available by guarantees and payments."

The curator was out of the province, but his report had been handed to the judge.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had brought the restraint application under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act in November 2016.

Lamoer and three brigadiers - Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Colin Govender - together with businessman Salim Dawjee, face 109 charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering involving R1.6m. They are all out on bail.

The high-ranking officers allegedly received cash and expensive gifts from Dawjee in exchange for special treatment.

Lamoer was appointed to the post in November 2010, and retired in November 2015. He had been in the service for 25 years.

The restraint order was limited to R179 912 for Dawjee, Towbars Cape CC and Towbars King CC; R75 524 for Lamoer; and R7 324 for Van der Ross.

The order against the Govenders, including their interests in annuities and gratuities from their pension fund, was limited to R1.37m.

William Booth, for Dawjee, said the forfeiture was an "unfortunate hiccup" which had resulted in the sale of his client's house falling through.

He said this was the only issue which needed to be dealt with.

Judge Robert Henney said this was not the court's problem and Dawjee "could not hold the court to ransom".

"He must get other sources of funding... we are not going to wait for him to sell his house," he said.

"I don't want to get involved. If he cannot place you in funds before 6 March, you will have to withdraw. That is how it works with all the other accused."

A pre-trial hearing would be held on March 6 to hear Booth's final decision.

A provisional trial date was set down for April 18.


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