Prosecutor probed over sale of dockets to criminals

Date: 07 Sep 2006
Police are investigating the possibility that a prosecutor might have sold hundreds of court dockets to dozens of violent-crime syndicates. Court dockets were apparently found in the possession of the 28-year-old prosecutor, who was arrested north of Pretoria on Tuesday. During her arrest, police also found 36 dockets hidden in a car. After questioning the woman, they were led to a house where she was renting a room. A total of 186 dockets were seized. The drug methcathinone (Cat) was also allegedly found. According to the police, the stolen dockets relate to crimes such as murder, hijacking, armed robbery and rape. This has raised fears at Pretoria courts about cases linked to the dockets. Officials say they have to investigate whether any charges have been withdrawn because dockets were not available, or whether evidence has not been submitted in some cases. Police believe the woman may be a member of several crime syndicates and are investigating allegations that she was selling the dockets for between R1 000 and R8 000. Police spokesperson Constable Brenda Kgafela said: "Detectives are looking at what the woman was doing with so many dockets and how long she had been in possession of them." The chief prosecutor for the Pretoria cluster, Matric Luphondo, yesterday said the suspect had been working at the Soshanguve District Court, but was recently "temporarily transferred" to the Pretoria City Court. She also helped out at the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate's Court. The woman was due to appear in court today. Graeme Hosken and Hanti Otto The Star 07/09/06