Cops offer man R500 to make assault case go away - but were bust instead

22 May 2019 - 15:41 By TimesLIVE
Four police detectives allegedly conspired to offer the victim of an alleged assault cash in exchange for dropping the charge.
Four police detectives allegedly conspired to offer the victim of an alleged assault cash in exchange for dropping the charge.
Image: 123RF/kritchanut

Four police detectives faced a charge of corruption on Wednesday after allegedly conspiring to get an assault case against one of them dropped in exchange for cash.

The detectives, from Kirkwood police station, appeared in the Port Elizabeth Specialised Commercial Crime Court after being arrested earlier by the Hawks' serious crime investigation team.

Detective sergeants Riaan van Reenen, 40, Liza van Reenen, 45, Ferdinand Noonen, 36, and 49-year-old warrant officer Gabriel Hobbs allegedly "acted in common purpose and ensured that a complainant in an assault case, which occurred on March 26 2018, withdraws the matter against Sgt Riaan van Reenen", said a statement by Hawks spokesperson Cpt Lloyd Ramovha.

"The alleged assault of the 51-year-old victim took place in the Kirkwood area and he subsequently opened a case docket at the local police station. The said case was assigned to Sgt Ferdinand Noonen for investigations."

The two sergeants and Hobbs allegedly visited the complainant at home and offered him money to drop charges against their colleague.

"The complainant eventually accepted an amount of R500 under duress, after the arrival of the investigating officer in the case, R400 of which was paid immediately, with an arrangement that the balance be paid at a later stage. A case withdrawal sworn statement was then prepared which the complainant was allegedly made to sign," said Ramovha.

The docket containing the withdrawal statement was presented to the public prosecutor's office and the prosecutor declined to prosecute the assault case.

About six months later information about what had happened came to light.

The four were released on R1,000 bail each and are expected back in court on June 21.


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