Anti-corruption task team probing Palm Ridge court corruption allegations

An anti-corruption task team is investigating allegations of bribery at the Palm Ridge court. The investigation is ongoing.

An anti-corruption task team is investigating allegations of bribery at the Palm Ridge court. The investigation is ongoing.

Published Mar 10, 2024


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will be investigating the allegations of corruption and fraud reportedly playing out at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

The unit’s spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, confirmed to The Star on Sunday that the matter was receiving urgent attention.

“The matter has been referred to the Anti-Corruption Task Team for investigation to probe the allegations and we will be guided by the outcome of the investigation,” Mjonondwane said.

The NPA’s investigation follows a series of exposés which revealed an alleged corrupt syndicate cheating suspecting and unsuspecting victims out of their hard-earned money by soliciting bribes in exchange for making cases disappear.

Last week, businessman Thomas Howard Brown detailed how he was arrested by the police under dubious charges, saying he never saw the charge sheet.

Brown said he was presented to the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, where his lawyer was told to pay up R500 000 to make his case go away.

“This case will be very bad for your businesses,” he was told.

Brown believed at the time that the whole matter was a play between the police and the prosecutor.

Investigations by The Star revealed how the alleged syndicate’s chain works.

“Before an accused is charged, members of the SAPS would call a prosecutor to tell them that they’re about to pounce on an eminent or rich individual. The police then charge the person, who will be surrendered to the courts the next day.

“Unbeknown to the accused, the prosecutor will put up a fight for the accused to remain in custody,” the publication wrote.

According to a source, top business persons are arrested by the police and then told to pay exorbitant amounts to make the case “go away”. The money will be split between the prosecutor and the accused’s lawyer, all unknown to the accused.

The source further alleged that the police, in consultation with lawyers, target people after a case is opened against them.

Another businessman (name withheld) was also charged by the Norwood police station on allegations of property investment fraud after a property deal went sour.

The publication found that the police targeted wealthy individuals with similar cases, which raised a concern around the kind of people arrested and later taken to the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

According to the source within the NPA, the prosecutor who is believed to be involved in all these cases was under investigation.

The Star