Business as usual for cop found guilty of fraud

Russel Morena

Russel Morena

A corrupt police inspector found guilty on fraud charges three months ago is still working at a Johannesburg police station.

Inspector Sean Twala, 46, who is attached to the Parkview police station, has been reporting for duty as normal.

"He is being allowed to drive state cars as if nothing has happened," a colleague said at the weekend.

Twala, pictured, was found guilty of extortion, intimidation, bribery and defeating the ends of justice by Johannesburg magistrate Paul du Plessis in May.

Police confirmed that Twala was still to face further corruption and extortion charges. That case will be heard in the Johannesburg magistrate's court next month.

Spokesman Superintendent Eugene Opperman said yesterday the police had to follow procedure as dictated by the "Police Act and labour law".

"We will conduct a disciplinary hearing. He has also not been sentenced," he said.

Twala was part of a task team investigating property developer Michael Lingwood, who was suspected of illegally occupying flats in Joburg and fraudulently renting them out.

The team arrested Lingwood and while he was in custody, Twala tried to evict his wife Glenda and the tenants from the premises using a false eviction order.

He threatened Lingwood' s wife and extorted money from her, as well as from residents of several flats, making them pay rent to him illegally.

He promised to make the case against Lingwood disappear if his wife paid him R5000.

He also approached Lingwood in jail and promised to speed up his bail application if he paid a R5000 bribe.

The magistrate found him guilty as charged and will sentence him on October 9.

Twala will return to court on October 13 to face fresh charges of fraud, extortion, and defeating the ends of justice.

On Thursday Twala will face similar charges with co-accused Tello Mota of the Johannesburg Central police.

He would have faced even more charges had a key witness not died after being shot execution-style at a block of flats in Hillbrow early this year.

Lindiwe Mthembu, 37, was to testify against Twala the following day. Other witnesses withdrew in fear and the court dropped the charges.

The DA in Gauteng and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) have slammed the South African Police Service for failing to act according to procedure.