A former Assistant Master of the High Court in Kimberley has been sentenced after being convicted on corruption charges.
Method Gqetywa, 48, was sentenced by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court (SCCC) this week after he accepted R15 000 to interfere with a deceased estate.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane confirmed that Gqetywa was convicted on one count of corruption, and subsequently sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, of which three were suspended for a period of five years.
“The accused was arrested during a section 252 (buy and bust) operation when he solicited and accepted R15 000 cash to interfere with the administration of a deceased estate. On July 4, 2019 and July 18, 2019, when the accused was employed by the Master of the High Court, and working as Assistant Master, he accepted gratification amounting to R15 000 from the complainants in order to process the estate of a deceased known to the complainants. The accused instead of executing his duties as stipulated, that he be honest, trustworthy, and professional as a public servant, acted in a manner that was illegal, untrustworthy, and unauthorised by accepting the money.
“The matter was reported to the police and after an entrapment led by the police, the accused was arrested and charged with corruption. During the trial, senior State advocate Wilhelmus Els, from the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU), argued that a clear message should be sent to other would-be perpetrators in the public service, that the justice system is serious about fighting corruption and fraud-related cases, especially within the public sector. Advocate Els emphasised the importance of the court sentencing the accused to direct imprisonment for his indiscretions, because he was trusted with a very important job of serving the people and he betrayed that trust by accepting the money in order to execute his duties,” said Senokoatsane.
Senokoatsane said the NPA applauded the prosecution team and the Hawks “for getting a conviction on this important corruption-busting matter”.
“It is hoped that this sentence will send a clear message to other perpetrators of corruption and fraud that, indeed, the NPA and law enforcement agencies are serious about fighting crime,” said Senokoatsane.