Jail for corrupt Cape Town cops who took R1,000 bribe from drug dealer
Two Cape Town police officers were sentenced to three years in jail for accepting bribes from a drug dealer.
When Mitchells Plain policemen Sgt Ryan Hopkins and Cst Malibongwe Ndzendze tried to solicit a bribe from drug dealer Moegamat Garrett, instead of "calling his people" as instructed by the officers he called another policewoman warrant officer Nadine Britz.
He alerted Britz, now a captain, that Ndzendze told him that they needed to "talk like grown-ups" after they found several packets of tik in his backyard. He ended up paying them R1,000 each in exchange for his release.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, the accused were handed six-year sentences, of which three years were suspended, by the Bellville Specialised Crimes Court on Tuesday.
They were convicted on May 29 after a protracted trial.
"It was revealed during the trial that the two arrived at the drug dealer's house at 44 Bitou Street, Eastridge, Mitchells Plain," said Ntabazalila.
Garrett was not at home, but his wife called him and told him the officers were searching the premises for drugs, said Ntabazalila.
When he got home the two officers confronted him about the drugs found in the back garden.
"Garrett was then put in the back of the police vehicle and told to phone his people. Garrett then proceeded to phone Lentegeur SAPS and spoke to warrant officer Britz. He informed her of what happened to him," he said.
Prosecutor Derick Vogel told the court that they stopped at the Promenade Mall car park and asked Garrett if he had phoned his people.
"[Garrett] offered them R500 but Hopkins shook his head. They were then offered R1,000, which the accused had at his house. He gave them the money and then phoned warrant officer Britz and informed her of what happened," said Ntabazalila.
Three police officers then confronted Hopkins and Ndzendze about the allegations against them and asked them to empty their pockets.
"Ndzendze had a roll of money in his pocket, which he claimed was given to him by his wife. Suddenly Hopkins remembered the money was supposed to have been booked with the drugs they claim they found abandoned on the street," said Ntabazalila.
"The NPA welcomes the sentence as it sends an unambiguous message on its position on corruption, particularly that which is committed by state officials."