Hunt for court-hop cop

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

A warrant of arrest has been issued for Booysens police officer Tello Motha after he failed to appear at the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday.

Motha, 39, was scheduled to appear in court on charges of attempted extortion and corruption. Yesterday he broke a series of his court appearances which started on Monday when he appeared in a different court on a different charge.

On Tuesday, he was in court again for another corruption charge with his co-accused Sean Thwala. Until the end of his three trials, Motha should be strutting between courts 10, 22 and 23. He is currently out on a R2000 bail which was granted last year.

Lindiwe Mthembu, a key witness in one of Motha's trials, was gunned down at her home last week. Another witness in the same trial has gone into hiding after allegedly being threatened and warned not to testify against the cop. When Motha's attorney, Moleke Motsepe, was asked to explain his client's absence, he said: "I don't know where he is. The last time I spoke to him was on Monday when he phoned to remind me that we had to be in court today."

The state alleges that in 2006 Motha was part of a task team investigating a man suspected to be illegally occupying residential buildings in Jozi and renting them out. While the man was in custody, Motha allegedly tried to get a R5000 bribe from his wife. Motha is alleged to have said: "Money talks. I can make things disappear."

He is also alleged to have asked the man's wife to evict all the tenants living in a certain building if she wanted her husband to get bail. Motha's bail has been withdrawn by the state and police are now looking for him.