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Pietermaritzburg - Two policemen attached to the detective unit at the Mountain Rise police station went on trial in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Monday on 11 counts of fraud.
One of the duties required of the detectives was the use of paid informers. However, the State alleges that detectives Mbongwa Dladla, 46, and Vusimuzi Madonsela, 41, submitted fraudulent claims for fees for three people: Bongani Mbambo, Sibongile Christina Ngongoma and Nkululeko Cyril Mswane.
The State alleges that these three people were not registered as informers with the SAPS, did not provide information to the police, and did not receive money from the SAPS.
The officers have been charged with fraud, alternatively theft through false pretences, involving R109 500 between August 2006 and August 2009.
They have pleaded not guilty.
Dladla, who is being represented by Martin Krog, maintains his innocence and insists the three people are registered as informers.
Madonsela denies the allegations, saying he has not paid any informer’s fees to the three people and has no knowledge of the alleged fraud.
Testifying on Monday, Captain Andrew Farr of the Alexandra police station explained the thorough processes involved in registering an informer with the SAPS. He said it was virtually impossible for an informer to be registered and be unaware of this due to the intimacy of the information required for the process to be valid and completed.
The personal particulars of all informers – including their names, addresses, employment histories and their thumbprints – are required.
This information is known only to the investigating officer, or handler, and the commanding officer.
Also, when a claim is submitted by the handler for an informer to be paid for information given that has led to a successful investigation or prosecution, claim forms have to be signed by the handler, the informer and two witnesses as proof of payment.
The informer’s thumbprint is also required on these forms.
Farr also confirmed that the commanding officer would have to keep a record of all payments made to informers.
The case drew widespread media and community attention when it came before the courts in 2012, as celebrated Pietermaritzburg detective Captain Pipes Haffajee was charged alongside Dladla and Madonsela.
The State withdrew the charges against him following representations made to the director of public prosecutions. At the time, Haffajee said he believed the charges were rooted in professional jealousy following his investigative successes in relation to high-profile crimes in the city.
The trail continues on Tuesday.