Jail time for top cops

Former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer outside the Western Cape High Court with co-accused Brigadier Kolin Govender, in the background.

Arno Lamoer, the province’s former top cop and a prominent Panorama resident, is going to jail for corruption, along with a Plattekloof businessman and a former Parow police chief.

The former provincial police commissioner, Lamoer was handed a prison sentence by Judge Rosheni Allie in the Western Cape High Court last week, along with his co-accused, businessman Saleem Dawjee, Brigadier Darius van der Ross and former Parow police station commander Brigadier Kolin Govender (“Pre-trial hearing in cop graft case”, Wednesday February 10 2016).

Lamoer was sentenced to eight years direct imprisonment with two years suspended for five years on condition he is not convicted of corruption during the period of suspension.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the court had sentenced Dawjee to 47 years on different charges of corruption, fraud and defeating the ends of justice, but he would serve an effective six years behind bars.

“The court suspended two years of his first sentence of eight years direct imprisonment, for five years, on condition he was not convicted of corruption committed during the period of suspension. It then ordered all the other sentences to run concurrently,” he said.

Van der Ross was sentenced to four years direct imprisonment with two years suspended for five years.

Govender was sentenced to six years direct imprisonment with two years suspended for five years.

His wife, former Bellville police station commander Sharon Govender, was also entangled in the corruption case but was acquitted of all the charges.

Mr Ntabazalila said the NPA welcomed the conviction of the top cops and the businessman who corrupted them.

“We see this as a rare and major success in the fight against grand corruption, to which the NPA is committed,” he
said.

Following the sentencing, the accused applied for leave to appeal the sentence. They also applied for bail pending their application for leave to appeal.

Dawjee and Lamoer were granted R10 000 bail on Friday May 11 and spent the weekend at home.

Mr Ntabazalila said the three dirty cops had then informed the court on Monday May 14 that they would not oppose the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s application for a confiscation order and nor would they apply for leave to appeal their sentences.

The court ordered that they hand themselves to Malmesbury prison to start their sentences.

Dawjee, meanwhile, had opposed the AFU confiscation order and sought leave to appeal his sentence.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said last week’s sentencing had brought to finality a case that had stained the image of police as servants of the people in the province.

“This sordid ordeal has caused much pain and embarrassment for the dedicated men and women in blue who serve our communities with diligence under difficult circumstances and often with constrained support and resources.”

The sentencing, he said, was the clearest sign yet by the courts that corruption and criminality would never be tolerated in the ranks of those entrusted to serve the people, protect all residents in the province and uphold the laws that govern our republic.

“The corruption sentencing remains a stark reminder to everyone within the police ranks that when you should know better, you should do better or you will face the full might of the law.

“I urge the provincial and national police management to continue cleaning out the rot whenever and wherever it is detected,” Mr Plato said.

Former Goodwood station commander Brigadier Hansia Hansraj, who was called to give evidence during the corruption trial, declined to comment.