National 27.7.2016 03:14 pm

‘No interpreter’ delays Cape Town cops’ trial

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The absence of interpreters required for five different languages also caused earlier postponements.

The case involving nine police officials variously charged with fraud and corruption has been postponed again due to the absence of an interpreter on Wednesday.

All nine police officials were based at the Parow police station, in Cape Town’s northern suburbs.

The trial was initially scheduled to commence on a Monday in December last year in the Bellville Regional Court before Magistrate Njengele Tshiki, but an unrelated matter that had been prioritised for that day caused the postponement of the case to the next day (Tuesday).

That Tuesday, the absence of interpreters required for five different languages, caused the case to be “rolled” to the next day.

That Wednesday it transpired that a Sotho-speaking interpreter spoke Northern Sotho, whereas a Southern Sotho speaker was required.

That gremlin caused the postponement of the case to Monday this week, but the case was again rolled to Wednesday because one of the accused was writing examinations.

On Wednesday the Southern Sotho-speaking interpreter was absent.

The prosecutor, senior state advocate Thersia du Toit-Smit, told the court that the interpreter was on his way.

Two hours later, he had still not arrived and the prosecutor told the court she had tried to reach him but that his mobile telephone was switched off. His absence caused the postponement of the case, for the umpteenth time, to September 21.

When the case was first called in December last year, all nine police officials pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Before the court were Percy Claassen, 46, who faces four counts of corruption and one of fraud, Randall Phillips, 28, who was charged with nine counts of corruption and one of fraud, Nicolaas Ryk, 38, who faces only one count of corruption, Muneer Daniels, 29, facing three corruption and one fraud charge, and Alvico Carolissen, 28, who faces seven charges of corruption and one of fraud.

The others are Divan Webster, 30, charged with three counts of corruption, Casbeth Tsiri, 30, four of corruption and one of fraud, Thembalethu Masimela, 29, four of corruption and one of fraud, and Samkelo Mnyanda, 27, who is facing three counts of corruption.

The state alleges that on various occasions in 2013, they falsely informed victims that drugs had been found on their business premises, and demanded the immediate payment of fines to avoid arrest.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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