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Kgantsi's 'bag too small for money'

By unknown | May 09, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

Contradictory versions of how R40000 in clearly marked notes ended up in advocate Portia Kgantsi's possession emerged in the Johannesburg high court yesterday.

Key state witness Dijbril Issa Mohamedou testified that Kgantsi, a senior advocate attached to the elite Scorpions unit, instructed him and his friend John Afolobi to place the money inside a docket she had brought to them.

Kgantsi, 39 , of Faerie Glen in Pretoria, was arrested by her colleagues in September outside the Sandton police station after she allegedly extorted R40000 from Mohamedou and Afolobi.

The state alleges that Kgantsi approached the two men, both Nigerian nationals, after they were arrested on August 26 and offered to withdraw charges against them if they paid her money.

She has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, fraud, attempted theft, defeating the ends of justice and lying about a previous conviction.

Mohamedou said Kgantsi asked for R30000 from him and Afolobi to get the asset forfeiture unit "off our back".

He said she demanded a further R10000, to "pay" the prosecutor for allowing her to take over the case.

The money, Mohamedou said, was to be collected from them on September 28.

The state last week played a video in court which showed Kgantsi talking to Afolobi and Mohamedou in the fingerprints' room.

She is seen leaving the room and returning carrying a police docket.

She places her handbag and the docket on the table and leaves the fingerprint room.

Mohamedou said Afolobi then called Kgantsi on her cellphone and asked her what they needed to do. Kgantsi, Mohamedou said, instructed them to put the money inside the docket.

She then instructed them to bring the docket and her handbag to the cell commander's office where she was sitting, said Mohamedou.

Advocate Johan Pretorius, representing Kgantsi, said yesterday Kgantsi would deny she instructed Afolobi to put the money in the docket.

"She will say John [Afolobi] requested her to bring the docket because he wanted to use it to put the money in.

"He said the bag was not big enough and he didn't want police to see that he was handing her the money," Pretorius said.


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