The Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville is expected to deliver judgment on Thursday in a case involving a police warrant officer accused of accepting a bribe to release a vehicle confiscated from an offender convicted of the illegal possession of crayfish.
Warrant officer Shaun Davids, a group commander at the Steenberg police station in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, pleaded not guilty to a charge of corruptly demanding R3 000 to release the convicted offender’s confiscated vehicle.
The case arose after Davids intercepted the suspect for the illegal possession of crayfish, and confiscated the suspect’s vehicle and cellphone. According to the state, Davids offered to release the suspect’s confiscated car back to the suspect for a R3 000 bribe.
Instead of paying the bribe, the offender reported the request and the Western Cape Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) set up an undercover operation to trap Davids.
Davids’ version was that the offender was desperate to get the confiscated vehicle back, without the necessary procedure and he offered the bribe for the release of his vehicle.
Because the offender was a known gangster, and dangerous, Davids said he set up his own, secret trap for him – but failed to obtain permission to do so, as he should have.
According to him, the two met at the Nando’s outlet, where the offender offered him the money. Davids said he asked what the money was for, and the gangster said “It’s for you”.
Davids claimed that he counted the money in the car, and that his intention was to report the incident to his commander, and hand the money in as an exhibit. However, Davids claimed he was arrested while he was still in the car, counting the money.
The prosecutor urged the court to find Davids guilty on the basis that his version was “inherently improbable”, and therefore not “reasonably possibly true”.
The defence urged the court to find Davids not guilty, on the grounds that her client’s version was in fact reasonably possibly true.
– African News Agency (ANA)