Crooked cops

The world of the police, criminals and informers has always been characterised by intrigue, deceit and betrayal.

The world of the police, criminals and informers has always been characterised by intrigue, deceit and betrayal.

But the saga of Pretoria businesswoman Julia Mashele, acknowledged as South Africa's longest-serving awaiting-trial prisoner - she was locked up for seven years - reads like a classic Mafia novel.

There is an informer who betrays his benefactor, Mashele, at the alleged behest of his policeman handler. The same policeman is alleged to be the mastermind behind a plot to frame Mashele. Then vehicles the informer says he stole are dumped in the businesswoman's yard as cooked-up evidence against her.

These are the ingredients for a prize-winning novel.

The motive? No one will ever know - especially if the policeman involved is not brought to account.

What is unnerving is that it all sounds so familiar.

How many other citizens have been subjected to this kind of pressure by crooked policemen?

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