Johannesburg – The Standerton Magistrates’ Court has sentenced former district court control prosecutor Aaron Pule Mohanwe to 10 years direct imprisonment for accepting money in exchange for not enrolling drug-related cases.
Mohanwe, 35, who was dismissed from the NPA in July last year, was convicted on two counts of corruption and defeating the administration of justice.
It was revealed that the he was receiving and accepting bribes in relation to cases involving drugs.
The accused was sentenced to 10 years corruption for, 10 years for another count of corruption and seven years for a count of defeating the ends of justice. The court ordered that the sentences for counts two and three run concurrently with the sentence on count one.
His effective sentence is 10 years, the court said.
Mpumalanga regional NPA spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said undercover agents set up a trap for him, in terms of Section 252A of the Criminal Procedure Act, and he was bust.
This incidents of the accused asking for money occurred on two different occasions and the transactions were both recorded by the agents.
“On one occasion, one of the agents was arrested and placed in the court cells. Another agent then approached the accused to find out what he could do to help the arrested person,” said Nyuswa.
The accused is said to have asked for money. The undercover agent handed over the marked notes to him.
On the second occasion, the accused took over an awaiting-trial prisoner for the purpose of court appearance for bail at the district court. In fact, he had no bail hearing scheduled at that stage and that case had already been transferred to the regional court.
No prior permission was requested and obtained from the senior public prosecutor to place the matter on the roll, nor was the investigating officer informed about the bail.
However, when he took over the awaiting-trial prisoner to appear in the district court, he informed the court that the investigating officers weren’t interested in opposing the bail application, knowing full well that the information about the alleged bail application was not given to investigators.
The prosecutor was arrested following these incidents, convicted and sentenced for his crimes.
Nyuswa said: “This is one of those cases where the NPA will not hesitate to institute criminal action against one of its own, in dealing with corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
“The NPA is resolute in reaffirming the rule of law, professionalism and accountability among all its employees, especially the prosecutors who are expected to stand for, and deliver justice; not work contrary to those values.”