South Africa News

Prosecutor jailed for receiving R1 500 bribe & withdrawing drunk driving case

A former public prosecutor in the Seshego district court in Limpopo, Guesta Rhulani Maboela has been sentenced to five years’ direct imprisonment after she was convicted of corruption.

A spokesperson for the Hawks in Limpopo, Captain Matimba Maluleke, said Maboela, 49, was sentenced by the Seshego Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

“During May 2019, the accused in her professional capacity as a public prosecutor demanded R1 500 gratification from a complainant who was arrested for driving under the influence of liquor in order to withdraw the charges against him,” Maluleke said.

“The complainant reported the matter to the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation and a swift undercover operation was conducted. The operation resulted in the arrest of Maboela at her workplace immediately after receiving a gratification.”

During the investigation, the Hawks established that a case against the complainant had indeed been withdrawn before the court.

“As the investigation progressed, it was discovered that the case of driving under the influence of liquor against the complainant was indeed withdrawn. Maboela was convicted by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting in Polokwane on 8 November 2022,” said Maluleke.

“Since then, she was on her extended bail until she was sentenced.”

Meanwhile, provincial head of the Hawks in Limpopo, Major-General Gopz Govender, has lauded both the investigation and prosecution teams “for their sterling work”.

“We are determined to fight the scourge of corruption without fear or favour,” said Govender.

Last year, another Limpopo-based public prosecutor was convicted of corruption and was facing another trial for charges including attempted murder after he allegedly tried to kill a witness.

At the time, Maluleke said 50-year-old Leonard Ratshilumela was convicted on the corruption charge in October.

“The public prosecutors are expected to ensure justice for the victims of crime by prosecuting without fear, favour and prejudice, by working with their partners and the public to solve and prevent crime. But it was different with the former public prosecutor, Leonard Ratshilumela, aged 50, who did the opposite,” Maluleke said at the time.

“In May 2020, the accused, in his official capacity as a public prosecutor based in Thohoyandou, demanded R6 000 gratification from the mother of a suspect, who was a minor, facing reckless and negligent driving charges in order to make the case disappear.”

The matter was reported to the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation members and an undercover operation was done.

Ratshilumela was arrested soon after accepting the money in Thohoyandou.

-IOL

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