Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
A SOCIAL welfare officer' s failure to produce a probation report delayed sentencing in the Parow regional court yesterday in the case of former Goodwood police station commander Siphiwe Hewana.
Hewana was to be sentenced on a charge of defeating the ends of justice - a sequel to his interference with the Tony Yengeni drunk driving investigation. As a result of Hewana's interference, Yengeni was last year acquitted by the Goodwood magistrate's court of a drunken driving charge.
This was the second time the probation report was not produced in court.
Hewana appeared before magistrate Elsa van Zyl, who warned him that postponements for the report could not continue indefinitely.
She told him: "I want to see some proactive action from your side - if you want the probation report placed before the court, you must do something about it, or present your personal circumstances to the court yourself." On November 20, when Hewana was found guilty, Van Zyl scheduled sentence for February 8 this year, when the probation officer's report, compiled by the social welfare office in King William's Town, had to be handed to the court. Hewana now lives in King William's Town.
However, when the case resumed in February, Van Zyl was to hear that Hewana had not yet heard from the probation officer, who was on leave.
At defence attorney Greg Duncan's request, the case was postponed to March 23. When the case was called yesterday, Duncan told the court that Hewana had personally been to the welfare office in King William's Town, to be told that the office had not yet received any request from the court for a probation report, and that Hewana would be notified when the request arrived.
Prosecutor Barry van der Berg was "unable to reach" the King William's Town office by telephone, as the number remained engaged, nor had he been able to reach the Cape Town office, to whom the request for the report had been sent in the first instance.
Van der Berg said the purpose of the report was merely to place on record Hewana's personal history, and to recommend a suitable sentence. He opposed any further postponement and said Hewana could place his history before the court himself.
Hewana was found guilty of defeating the ends of justice but was acquitted on two other counts. - Sapa