Official robbed court to buy booze

A FORMER Pietermaritzburg prosecutor who accepted bribes to steal court dockets to fund his drinking habit received a six-year suspended sentence in the city's regional court.

A FORMER Pietermaritzburg prosecutor who accepted bribes to steal court dockets to fund his drinking habit received a six-year suspended sentence in the city's regional court.

Amos Ngcobo, 40, admitted stealing or hiding more than 40 court dockets.

In addition to the sentence on Friday, he was fined R20000, to be paid to the South African National Council for Alcoholism, and to undergo three years' of correctional supervision.

Magistrate Paul Abelman said Ngcobo had defeated the ends of justice by stealing or hiding the dockets for bribes.

He also broke into the offices of his colleagues and removed dockets to destroy or hide them.

Ngcobo pleaded that he had a drinking problem which made him short of money.

At times he prosecuted in the "drunken driving" court where, due to the enormous volume of cases, it was easy to manipulate the system by stealing or hiding dockets.

This would delay some cases so much that they were ultimately withdrawn.

Abelman found that these acts amounted to corruption and/or defeating the ends of justice and/or unlawfully receiving benefits. Ngcobo also lost his job. - Sapa

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