Cape Town 130920- Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer and South African Police has called a press conference to release the annual crime statistics in the Western Cape. The conference was held at Squadron, Belhar. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Bianca/ week-end argus

Cape Town - The businessman at the centre of a corruption investigation into Western Cape top cop Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer has pleaded for Lamoer to break his silence and exonerate him.

Mohamed Salim Dawjee, who admitted he has had a close relationship with Lamoer for 20 years, told the Cape Argus on Sunday he had nothing to hide.

“All I need is for Lamoer to come forward and say, ‘Did I have corrupt dealings with Dawjee? Did I give him favourable treatment because of our relationship? The answer is no’.”

This followed weekend reports that the Cape Town businessman had showered police with gifts, ranging from flat-screen plasma television

sets and security cameras to a fully equipped victim support room.

Lamoer is being investigated for allegedly receiving payouts from Dawjee, who owns several businesses, including Towbars Cape and Towbars King.

The Hawks have been investigating the pair for about four months - an investigation that has included phone taps.

The businessman denied ever paying the commissioner. He did how-ever make a R20 000 deposit into Lamoer’s daughter’s home loan as a wedding gift.

“I’m a close friend of his, and I know her well. It took me a while to get the money together, but it was a gesture I wanted to make.”

He said he would have nothing to gain from a corrupt relationship with the commissioner.

“I do not get any work from the government, and the small number of SAPS cars that come through my business is nothing compared to what other companies get.”

He said he would make his financial statements available to the Cape Argus on Monday, reiterating that he was playing with an open hand.

Dawjee confirmed he had supported the police through various donations. Most had been given out at end-of-year functions as part of awards.

“I support the police as I always have, just like I support my local shelter. I am one of many companies who the police approach every year to help out, and some of the bigger companies make even bigger donations, so why am I being singled out?”

He believes his whole part in the investigation stems from a fallout he had with a Criminal Investigations Unit officer’s girlfriend - a high-ranking officer at a northern suburbs police station - last year.

A senior police source told the Cape Argus the CIU had an axe to grind with Lamoer after the police launched an investigation into seemingly “corrupt” practices by some of the CIU officers.

Particularly at issue was a farm outside Paarl, apparently owned by two top CIU officers, which was rented out at exorbitant rates to police for use during undercover operations.

“The police are behaving like a mafia,” said Dawjee. “This is why you never start a fight with the police, because they have all the power and they can do whatever they want.”

He said his generosity had been hijacked and turned on him and his family.

Lamoer refused to comment on Sunday night.

[email protected]

Cape Argus