Three policemen, Nkosinathi Mdiya, Mogamat Meniers and Heinrich Gordon, all based at the Diep River police station in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, are in the dock of the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.
Constable Mdiya is charged with two counts of theft, two of robbery and one of extortion (blackmail); Warrant Officer Meniers with one count of theft and one of corruption; and Sergeant Gordon with three counts of theft, two of corruption, two of extortion, and two of robbery.
On one of the extortion charges, Nigerian Daniel Animalu told the court he was driving in the Diep River area on the night of February 26 last year when he heard a police siren approaching from behind. He ignored the siren until the police vehicle started flashing its headlights at him.
He said the police vehicle stopped behind him, and Gordon approached him. Gordon took the ignition keys, gave him a cellphone number to call, and drove off.
Animalu said when he called the number Gordon told him to pay him R500 for the return of his keys.
Animalu said he reported the incident to the Wynberg police, who said he should call Gordon again, from the charge office, and demand that Gordon bring the keys to the Wynberg police station’s charge office. He did so, but Gordon switched off his cellphone, preventing Animalu from talking.
Animalu tried a second time, got through, and demanded that the keys be returned to him at the police station.
Soon afterwards, Gordon called to tell Animalu that he had left the keys on the bonnet of his car. Animalu said the Wynberg police insisted that Gordon return the keys to Animalu at the Wynberg police station, which Gordon did.
Gordon’s lawyer Yvette Isaacs said he had a fine reputation for his frequent arrests of Nigerians for possession of drugs. She told Animalu that he had changed his story about the events of that night several times, and said: “That’s not a good thing.”
At the Wynberg police station, staff told Gordon to give Animalu’s keys back to him, and to take him back to his car. Animalu said Gordon did so, but at his car told him he would “teach him a lesson” for making trouble for him.
The trial continues.