Corruption charge cop held for contempt

MORE CHARGES: Tello Mota. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 21/01/2008. © Sowetan.
MORE CHARGES: Tello Mota. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 21/01/2008. © Sowetan.

Russel Morena

Russel Morena

A police inspector who faces five criminal charges was arrested on Thursday after he failed to appear in court the previous day.

Tello Mota, 39, who is attached to Booysens police station in Johannesburg, was re-arrested and detained for contempt of court.

Mota failed to appear in the Johannesburg magistrate's court last Wednesday on charges of attempted extortion and corruption.

Two days earlier he had appeared on another corruption charge with co-accused, Sean Thwala, 40.

A key witness in one of the cases, Lindiwe Mthembu, was shot dead at her flat two weeks ago.

Another witness was allegedly threatened and warned not to testify against the two policemen.

Mota appeared before magistrate TH Carstens on Friday for a bail application. The matter was postponed to tomorrow.

"The state will oppose Mota's bail application when he reappears on Tuesday," investigating officer Superintendent Gregory Beck said yesterday.

Beck said Mota had violated his bail conditions by failing to appear in court last week.

Mota is alleged to have asked for R5000 from a Johannesburg woman in order to make a case against her husband to disappear.

He was a member of a task team investigating people who were illegally occupying residential buildings and houses in Johannesburg, according to the police.

Thwala also appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Friday on another corruption charge.

Magistrate JP du Plessis said Thwala had changed his statement after one of the witness testified during the trial last year.

The case was postponed to November 4 for judgment.

Meanwhile, Mthembu was buried at Manguzi, Ngwanase near Phongola in KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday.

No one has been arrested for her murder.

Police spokesman Captain Bheki Mavundla said investigations were still continuing.