'You're a talented bunch': Hawks boss lauds corruption-busters

11 May 2018 - 13:04
By Nashira Davids
Acting Hawks head Yolisa Matakata.
Image: ALAISTER RUSSELL/Sunday Times Acting Hawks head Yolisa Matakata.

Crime fighters who burned the “midnight oil” and “hunted across distant terrain” to bring senior Western Cape police officers to book were lauded by the Hawks on Friday.

Crime fighters who burned the “midnight oil” and “hunted across distant terrain” to bring senior Western Cape police officers to book were lauded by the Hawks on Friday.

On Thursday‚ former provincial commissioner Aron Lamoer was jailed for eight years‚ two of which were suspended‚ after admitting to accepting “loans” from businessman Saleem Dawjee.

He wasn’t alone in the dock in the Cape Town High Court. Lamoer was flanked by former brigadiers Darius van der Ross and Colin Govender. Van der Ross was jailed for four years‚ with two years of the sentence suspended‚ and Govender for six years‚ also with two years suspended.

In a statement‚ the acting national head of the Hawks‚ Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata‚ congratulated Cape Town’s serious corruption investigation unit for building a “cast-in-iron” case against the senior policemen.

“The sentence we hope will send a very strong message to those who misuse their strategic positions for selfish gains. The Hawks’ investigation and the successful conviction shows not only the level of independence‚ but that we do work without any fear nor favour‚” she said.

Lamoer “received money in his bank account‚ had his clothing accounts together with a certain holiday paid” for by Dawjee. Van der Ross received “gratifications which included having his private vehicle filled with petrol in exchange for favours”. And Govender received “unauthorised gratifications amounting to R1.2-million”.

Matakata also thanked the National Prosecuting Authority‚ the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the South African Police Service for the role they played in bringing the corrupt officials to book.

Ironically‚ in 2012 the Sunday Times interviewed Lamoer after Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato made allegations that high-ranking police officers were on the payroll of crime bosses.

Lamoer said several officers had been dismissed. “What we can confirm is that‚ yes‚ there are police officers involved in criminal activity and corruption with criminals‚” he said.