Cops on corruption charges ‘raided homes, stole goods’

CAPE ARGUS

EIGHT police officers, who face 23 corruption charges, allegedly swooped on houses and stole large sums of money and appliances. The Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard this during their bail application yesterday, but the officers were later released on bail. The officers, who include a superintendent and several inspectors, are mostly reservists attached to the West Metropole crime reaction unit, a reservist component. Most of the accused were based in Woodstock crime reaction unit, a reservist component. Most of the accused were based in Woodstock and all have been suspended. It is the State’s case that the officers have been under investigation since April 2006. Prosecutor Juanita Swart, for the State, charged that the men had raided houses and confiscated large sums of money to share among themselves. She said the group had also stolen appliances from some homes. She said most of the raids had been in Woodstock. Swart opposed their bail application, arguing the men’s lives were in danger as the community was outraged by the allegations. “All the accused are policemen and the investigation is at a very sensitive stage,” she said. “All are enforcement officers who are supposed to set a good example to the community. It is the State’s argument that they may influence or intimidate witnesses. Chances are they may influence the progress of the investigation as well. :She asked magistrate Ingrid Freitag to postpone the case for the Sate to collect bail information, but Reaz Khan, representing seven of the men, said: “All the accused were arrested at their homes except for the two who handed themselves over to the police. The State has been investigating this case for a while and has all the bail information it requires at its disposal. I ask the court to refuse the remand. “Freitag granted Julian Bosser, Paul Simons, Nashief Ravens and Deon Fortuin bail of R2000.00 each. Yagya Steenkamp, Nashief Ravens and Deon Samuel Engelbrecht were released on bail of R1500.00 each. All the accused indicated in affidavits that they would plead not guilty. In a related matter, Michael Peterson, Bosser and Ravens were released on R1000.00 bail each in connection with charges of perjury, illegal possession of firearms and defeating the ends of justice. Bail conditions in both cases bar the men from visiting the Woodstock. Muizenberg, Cape Town Central, Sea Point and Kensington police stations. They have been ordered not to contact witnesses nor visit the houses they allegedly raided. Both cases have been postponed to April 28 for further investigation.