A police warrant officer, accused of boiling blood samples in drunken driving cases, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, Cape Town, on Monday.
Shaun Donovan Hoffman, 45, formerly based at the Pinelands police station in Cape Town, faces five counts of defeating the administration of justice and three of corruption.
His trial was expected to commence on Monday, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.
However, his lawyer Helena Brink told the court that Hoffman had ended her mandate — no reasons given — and that he wished to appoint another lawyer. This was the second time he had changed his legal representative.
At the request of prosecutor Derek Vogel, the magistrate warned him to appear in court again on February 17.
She also extended the R2,000 bail, granted last year in the Goodwood District Court.
The case relates to three different drunken driving cases. It is alleged that Hoffman boiled blood samples in a microwave oven, before sending the samples for forensic analysis that would determine their blood-alcohol levels.
In one case, he is alleged to have requested a R1,000 bribe from a drunken driving suspect in May last year, to make the evidence in the case “disappear”.
For this, he faces one charge of corruption, and another of defeating the administration of justice.
In another case, he is accused of similarly requesting a R1,000 bribe from another drunken driving suspect, also in May last year, to make the evidence disappear as well.
For this, he faces another charge of corruption, and another of defeating the administration of justice.
In the third case, it is alleged that he requested a R2,000 bribe from a third drunk driving suspect, in August last year, also to destroy the evidence.
Similarly, for this he faces one count of corruption, and one of defeating the administration of justice.
On the remaining two counts of defeating the administration of justice, the State alleges that his actions compelled Goodwood’s senior prosecutor, Mike Greenwood, to withdraw the charges.
– African News Agency