Admin clerk gets eight years for selling police dockets

A former police administration clerk who was convicted of corruption after trading in police dockets has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

The Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court in Springs, made the ruling.

This comes after Vasvanthan Govender, a former admin clerk at the Lenasia police station, southwest of Johannesburg, was arrested for selling police dockets for R3 500.

Strict bail rules breached

He was found guilty of contravening a section of the corruption activities law, defeating the administration of justice, and impersonating an officer.

Magistrate Phindi Keswa ruled on Thursday that the 44-year-old will be sentenced to eight years for count one and three years for count two. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Govender was initially released on R3 000 bail, which Keswa cancelled on March 8 when he was found guilty, as he failed to adhere to the strict rules of his bail.

On Thursday, prosecutor Frans Mhlongo said: “The brutal and inescapable truth is that this case highlights the inequality of access to justice and the courts in our country.

Right to access justice denied

“The accused was bold in presiding over the violation of these rights by denying the family of the deceased the right to access justice through the courts for the death of their child.

“His conduct proves that our system treats one better if s/he is rich and guilty than if one is poor and innocent.”

Mhlongo said Govender’s unlawful and unethical conduct produced a brutal, painful, and sudden end to the family’s quest for justice.

“He has given credence to the perception that there are those who are born into a world that does not see nor acknowledge them, that their lives are not valuable or meaningful, and that they are underserving of justice.

“His offences undermined the right to equality before the law. He has gained, and the public, together with the family members of the deceased, have lost,” Mhlongo said.

Values of fairness undermined

Mhlongo added that this has become a thorn in the side of the criminal justice system and many communities.

“This unscrupulous evil by public officials in the criminal justice system undermines its core values of fairness, equity, and impartiality. It fosters a culture of impunity for the affluent and powerful.

“When public officials are compromised, it results in the abuse of power, and the delivery of justice is compromised. It is not a victimless crime.”

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