Pretoria - A Limpopo prosecutor has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for corruption by the Giyani Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
Molatelo Herbert Serumula, 46, was arrested in Morebong Magistrate’s Court near Modjadjiskloof, outside Polokwane, in 2018. He was convicted of soliciting bribes from an accused who reported him to the police.
Serumula was convicted and sentenced by the same court he worked at.
Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, Hawks spokesperson Matimba Maluleka said the accused had been arrested for possession of suspected stolen property. Serumula told him to pay a bribe of R2 000 for his docket to disappear, according to the court.
“The complainant initially paid him R500 and the case was withdrawn. Serumula kept on making more demands, including one for R1 500.
“He further requested that he bought him a vehicle. The complainant then reported the matter to the Hawks. Serumula was arrested,” said Maluleka.
The convicted prosecutor had initially been granted R1 000 bail.
During his trial, senior State advocate Mashudu Muliwa said Serumula had been convicted of a serious offence.
Muliwa argued that Serumula had to be made an example of because he had put the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in disrepute. “He accepted money while he was in the office, undermining the organisation,” Muliwa said.
Limpopo NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Ndzangi welcomed the sentencing. “The NPA welcomes the sentence hoping that it will serve as a deterrent,” she said.
This is not the first case of its kind in the province.
The Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court is hearing a case of a 48-year-old prosecutor who was arested after allegedly demanding R6 000 from a suspect who was charged with reckless and negligent driving in May last year.
This was reported to the Hawks by the suspect.
The Hawks initiated a sting operation which resulted in the arrest of the prosecutor.