Acquitted cop to fight to get her job back

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IOL news aug 29 gavel_sep 4 Independent Newspapers

Cape Town - The cousin and former co-accused of Macassar police station’s ex-commander, who was acquitted of dealing in drugs worth R1 million, will appeal against her dismissal from the SAPS.

Constable Nosipho Sweetness Pikini and her cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel Princess Benjamin, who resigned from her position as station commander, went on trial in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court on an array of charges last year.

The State alleged Benjamin enlisted the help of Pikini to remove 18 bags of confiscated dagga worth more than R1m from the evidence storage room at the Macassar police station and move it to an address in Nyanga in 2009. They were accused of selling it.

They were arrested and held in custody for about a month. After a lengthy bail application in the Somerset Magistrate’s Court, the two were released on bail.

On October 26 Magistrate Amrith Chabilall acquitted them of five counts. The charges included dealing in drugs, corruption and fraud.

Lawyer William Booth, who represented both Benjamin and Pikini, brought an application in terms of section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Act that moved for their acquittal as there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

Pikini, who was a constable at Philippi East police station, was dismissed after an internal disciplinary hearing.

Booth said he was awaiting the typed version of the judgment before they could lodge the appeal.

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Cape Argus

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