Cape Town - A Nigeria, who claims to have been the middleman between drug dealers and buyers, has testified a Cape Town policeman hijacked him and tried to extort money from him.
Immediately after the testimony of Francis Abanobi, the policeman’s lawyer withdrew from the matter because of “conflicting instructions”, and a Legal Aid attorney was requested.
Constable Theodore Dreyer, 27, of Blackheath, and Yusuf Soeker, 44, of Bo-Kaap have pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, including aggravated robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, kidnapping, theft and extortion.
Dreyer was based at Cape Town Central police station but since his arrest has been suspended without pay.
Abanobi, who speaks Igbo, gave evidence in the Cape Town Regional Court through an interpreter.
He said on October 6, 2012 Soeker, pictured, called him and said he wanted a lift and to “buy something”.
Accompanied by his friend Frank, he met Soeker at a Shell garage in the city.
Soeker asked Abanobi for “something” he was expected to bring, which surprised Abanobi.
Dreyer, whom he knew was a policeman, then approached. Dreyer sometimes asked him to “organise people” selling drugs.
Dreyer told him to turn off the car engine and hand over the key. When he did so Dreyer and Soeker searched the two men, taking two cellphones and a wallet.
They also searched the car. At the time Abanobi and his girlfriend were moving and he had five suitcases of clothing, toiletries and household goods in the car.
“They kept asking me: ‘What do you have in this vehicle?’ and I kept telling them there’s nothing,” he said.
Dreyer and Soeker then told Abanobi to buy tik and bring them R500. Abanobi offered to take them to dealers, but they refused.
He was told to call Dreyer when he had the cash and drugs, before they gave back his phones. They drove off in his car.
Dreyer had threatened to arrest Abanobi on a pending assault case laid by his girlfriend if he went to the police station.
They all met up in the city the next day, Dreyer in a police van with a female police officer next to him. Soeker was in the back wearing one of Abanobi’s outfits, which angered him. Dreyer and Soeker demanded the drugs and money, and a scuffle ensued, drawing the attention of onlookers and security nearby.
Eventually he was told he could find his car outside a city centre bar, but when he reached it he discovered the interior had been trashed.
Magistrate Victor Gibson postponed the matter to May 15.