A Limpopo police constable attached to the Hawks has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term in the Mokopane Regional Court.
Former Hawks constable Papi Jonathan Lebese, 41, was convicted on three counts of corruption on Tuesday and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.
According to Hawks spokesperson in Limpopo Captain Matimba Maluleke, Lebese was attached to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit from April 2014 to February 2015.
He had been investigating a case of fraud and demanded a R65 000 bribe from an accused in exchange for not opposing bail. The money was subsequently deposited in Lebese’s personal account in tranches on different dates.
Maluleke said the bribe was reported to the Hawks and Lebese was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit, which positively linked him to the crime.
Maluleke said Lebese was initially granted bail but it was later revoked, as he didn’t attend court on a scheduled date.
“On count one and two he was sentenced to eight years’ direct imprisonment and on count three he was sentenced to six years’ direct imprisonment. These sentences are to run concurrently.”
National head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the sentence.
“It is expected of members of the DPCI to be beyond reproach at all times,” he said. “We hope this sentence will serve to remind those within our ranks who harbour similar intentions to commit crimes and demand and accept bribes that there is no place for them to hide in the directorate.”