One of KwaZulu-Natal’s top corruption busters appeared in court on Tuesday, along with another policeman and a luxury vehicle trader, charged with attempting to cover up an insurance fraud.
Colonel Clarence Jones, 31, is attached to the Serious Corruption Unit in Durban. He appeared in court along with Lieutenant Colonel Dhamashan Maistry, who is based with the Hawks at Durban Central Police station, and Preventheran Govender, 45, whose address was cited as Centurion on the charge sheet.
Govender is the principal dealer of Luxury Auto.
The case was investigated by SAPS head office and will be handled by a specialist prosecutor from Pretoria, Advocate Mbulelo Hermanus.
The charge sheet, which was handed to the accused’s legal representatives when they appeared before Durban Commercial Crime Court Magistrate P Naidoo, alleges that Maistry and Govender are guilty of corruption, Maistry of defeating the ends of the justice, and Jones of “being an accessory” and defeating the ends of justice.
The alleged crimes centre of the R229 000 purchase of a 2009 Jaguar from an Eshowe car dealer in December 2015.
The car was allegedly purchased by one Adrian Munsamy, with Wesbank providing Munasamy with the R491 000 finance for the deal. R464 500 of that was later paid into Govender’s bank account.
In March 2016, it is alleged, Munsamy lodged an insurance claim against Santam regarding an accident that month.
Marius van der Merwe, a forensic investigator employed by Wesbank Fraud Risk Management, was tasked to investigate the accident and traced Munsamy to an address in Chatsworth.
It is alleged that Maistry then approached Van der Merwe and offered him R10 000 “not to get involved in the investigation until after the settlement of the insurance claim and not to approach the Eshowe dealership as it would jeopardise the business relationship between it and Govender”.
The State alleges that Jones was informed of this and was given the R10 000, plus a recorded conversation between Maistry and Govender.
Although he knew it was evidence of a possible crime, it is alleged he “concealed these” until he was discovered and then he instructed another police officer to incorporate them as exhibits in a criminal case opened at Greenwood Park police station.
On Tuesday, the State handed in a CD containing the full docket – said to contain 4 500 pages of documents – to the defence.
The matter was adjourned until next month.