Prosecutor and Hawks colonel charged with corruption
The NPA prosecutes its own after it hears that a senior state advocate was gifted a hunting trip after not prosecuting someone.
NPA regional spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane says the NPA will investigate its own without fear, favour or prejudice. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
An NPA advocate, Hawks colonel and civilian were charged with corruption together at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane explained that senior state advocate Phuti Freddy Matabane, Lieutenant Colonel Lucky Thabethe and Daniel Bejamin Lessing were released on R5 000 bail and will be back in court on 7 March next year.
“The charges relate to allegations that in May 2021, the prosecutor (Adv Matabane) allegedly received gratification following his decision to decline to prosecute accused three (Lessing) in a fraud case of over R6 million opened by Interwaste at Germiston South African Police Services (SAPS) on 14 December 2020,” Mjonondwane said.
A paid hunting trip
“Investigation revealed that in June 2021, all accused persons embarked on a hunting trip, allegedly paid for by accused 3 following Matabane’s decision to decline prosecution. The case was brought to light by a private investigation firm hired by Interwaste after they had suspicions of corruption. The findings by the investigation firm prompted an investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Detective and Forensic Division.”
Mjonondwane said corruption like this erodes public confidence in the criminal justice system and the NPA will continue to entrench a culture of honesty and integrity through “prosecuting its own without fear, favour or prejudice.”