Five years later, long arm of law nails ex metro cop for soliciting R100 bribe
A delay of five years did not save a former Tshwane metro police official who tapped an undercover cop for a bribe.
Sebo Mathabatha must now do community service during a three-year term of imprisonment, suspended for five years providing she meets the conditions.
The 44-year-old was found guilty of corruption in the Pretoria Regional Court for a bribe she solicited from an undercover agent from the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, said the RTMC.
The trial had dragged on for more than five years, said the corporation. The case was first heard at the Cullinan magistrate's court and was moved after Mathabatha’s lawyers challenged the magistrate to recuse herself.
This caused lengthy delays and the case was moved to Pretoria. Mathabatha eventually pleaded guilty to the charge.
The RTMC said: “The charge stemmed from an incident on December 19 2015 on Moloto Road, where Mathabatha stopped an undercover agent and demanded to see his driving licence. When the agent failed to produce the licence, Mathabatha called him to the back of the vehicle where she asked him to “give her something”.
“The agent went back to his vehicle and returned to hand Mathabatha a marked R100 note. She was arrested immediately after taking the money.
In passing sentence, the court took into account that Mathabatha had abused her position of trust and showed total disregard for the law. It also considered that she was a first-time offender and had shown remorse by pleading guilty to the charge.
She was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, suspended for five years. She was further sentenced to 12 months' correctional supervision which requires her to be under house arrest at her Mamelodi East home except when going to work, church or to do community service.
She will also be required to perform 16 hours of community service per month at Stanza Bopape Clinic.
The court declared her unfit to possess a firearm and ordered that firearms in her possession, as well as competency certificates, licences, permits and authorisations issued to her be seized.
Mathabatha resigned from the Tshwane metro police immediately after her arrest.
“The RTMC welcomes the sentence as it clearly demonstrates that traffic officers are not above the law and that corrupt officials will be pursued without fear or favour.”
The corporation said people are encouraged to report all forms of fraud and corruption related to traffic officers and licencing centres to firstname.lastname@example.org. or via WhatsApp to 083 2937 989.
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