Drug informer spills beans

A POLICE informer has told the Johannesburg high court how West Rand organised crime unit members raided houses of drug dealers and took their loot to the streets.

Norman Kokoeng told the court yesterday that he knew people selling drugs and would point out their houses for raids. "I used to be involved in fraud with Nigerians and South Africans," Kokoeng said.

He said a certain Inspector Visagie and a Constable Groblaar of the Vaal organised crime unit recruited him after his arrest for fraud.

"I was found with damning documents. But police did not take them. Instead they demanded money. If those documents were used against me a lot of people would have been busted, including police," he said.

He had R12000 hidden in a ceiling light in his bedroom.

"They took half of it and then we discussed the possibility of becoming their informer," he said.

Kokoeng was testifying at the trial of Senior Superintendent Dumisani Jwara, Captain Victor Jwili and Captain Landro Mokgosani. The fourth accused, Caiphus Sakhephi Shange, died in prison in July.

In one instance he had information about a luxury car stolen from a dealership in Sandton and he called Visagie about it. He said Visagie advised him to call the dealership and ask for a reward in exchange for information.

"I got R30000 and Visagie took his half but was arrested. The dealership suspected we wanted to rob them. Police set a trap."

Kokoeng said he was arrested soon after Visagie.

He said Groblaar came to his holding cell and told him not to worry because his seniors would back their story. "I was released the following day without being charged. Then I was introduced to accused No 1 (Jwara)," he said.

He said Jwara was promoted to head the unit on the West Rand and Jwara suggested he join him at his new post. Kokoeng said he would point out houses he knew had drugs and police would search them.

"Depending on the amount of drugs, we would normally take the money and leave the drugs." He said drugs seized were sold to make money. Kokoeng said he was paid about R70000.