NGO calls for urgent probe into alleged court corruption

NGO Right to Justice has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to swiftly act on the exposé relating to alleged corruption at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. The NGO has has called on the NPA to investigate a prosecutor following an investigation by The Star.

The NGO said yesterday: “The NPA should speedily and fully examine if its prosecutors are in corrupt deals with lawyers and police.”

This follows a source’s allegation that a bribery and corruption syndicate is playing out at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, which buys cases and used a sinister network between magistrates and lawyers to siphon money from accused persons.The Star has seen seven dockets which the source claims are in the middle of a deal between the lawyers and prosecutors.The alleged chain works as follows: before an accused is charged, members of the SAPS would call a prosecutor to tell them that they are about to pounce on an eminent or rich individual. The police then charge the person, who will be surrendered to the courts the next day.

Unbeknown to the accused, the prosecutor will put up a fight for the accused to remain in custody. The accused’s lawyer will then intervene, giving the impression that the case against the accused is very strong but requires more funds to “mediate” the case.“State capture allowed for many organs of state to be eroded. As such the criminal justice system and the work of the judiciary is compromised. Criminality is at its advent, even at the level of our courts. We have often heard reports of cases being bought and foul play between state officials, we have been concerned about the Palm Ridge for a long time. A comprehensive investigation must ensue; it is imperative for our democracy and in the highest interest of justice. We are writing to the minister of justice as we await action from the NPA” the NGO said.According to the source, popular amapiano sensation, DJ Maphorisa, was made to pay R300 000 in a similar manner.

The Norwood police station refused to answer questions on the alleged syndicate between the police, lawyers and prosecutors. “We don’t know anything. Please ask the national police commissioner. We are not mandated to answer questions,” the police said.Attempts to get comments from DJ Maphorisa’s manager, Thuli Keupilwe, and the NPA spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, were unsuccessful at the time of publication.

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