If Scorpions could fly away

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Senior Scorpions advocate Portia Kgantsi was again denied bail at the Randburg regional court yesterday.

Kgantsi faces charges of bribery, corruption, extortion and defeating the ends of justice. The case was remanded to April 16.

Before passing down his decision, the magistrate, George Andrews, elaborated on how Kgantsi had again failed to persuade the court to grant her bail.

"I find it difficult to believe that a prominent law enforcement figure such as Kgantsi kept it a secret that she had a previous conviction. Again, it does not make sense why the applicant handed her expired ID to the arresting officer when she had an active one."

Kgantsi was applying for bail for the second time. She made an application in October, but the bail was refused because she failed to inform the court about her previous conviction - and that she was a flight risk.

Andrews also said that it was astonishing that Kgantsi admitted to being convicted for theft in 1991, yet continued to defend herself by saying that she was fined, rather than being convicted of the crime.

Kgantsi's defence lawyer, Michael Klaas, argued yesterday that his client be granted bail because she had "made a mistake" during the first application by not mentioning the theft conviction.

"She also argues that she does not have an active passport, and the one she had, was confiscated by the arresting officer," said Klaas.

The state remained unconvinced and she was again refused bail.

The defence promised that they would take up the matter with the high court before Christmas.

lKgantsi allegedly approached two Nigerians in a holding cell, promising to make their dockets "disappear" in exchange for R315000. After they informed the Scorpions, a sting operation was set up and Kgantsi was filmed receiving cash from the two men.