Prosecutor in the dock for allegedly demanding bribes from suspects to strike cases off the roll
Johannesburg - A prosecutor was expected to appear in the very same court he works in on Thursday after he was arrested for allegedly demanding that suspects pay him so he could withdraw their cases or strike them off the roll.
The 35-year-old man who works at Standerton Magistrates’ Court was nabbed red-handed with R5 000 in a sting operation organised by the police on Tuesday.
He has been charged with defeating the ends of justice as well as corruption.
Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police had been on the prosecutor’s tail for some time after noticing some of the decision he took regarding the cases he was handling.
Hlathi said it came to their attention the decisions he made did not correlate with what was expected according to law.
“As a result, we have been actively following him. We put the sting operation in place then arrested him.”
Hlathi said information they had received was that the prosecutor allegedly solicited bribes from suspects in exchange for cases to either be withdrawn or struck off the court roll.
He said using the information provided, they followed up on his activities and pounced on him on Tuesday after he allegedly received an undisclosed amount of cash from a suspect in exchange for the withdrawal of a case.
“He was found with the cash,” Hlathi said.
“We don’t know how many people he allegedly received bribes from and we now have to trace back all the decisions he made.”
Mpumalanga Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has welcomed the arrest and commended police for their work.
Zuma said corrupt elements within the system could not be allowed to stop the wheels of justice from rolling.
“The law must take its course without fear or favour and our efforts of rooting out corruption are continuing to yield positive results," he said.