A former police officer was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for corruption and a host of other charges on Monday, 19 July. The police were alerted to the officer’s corrupt activities after being tipped off by a suspect who said the officer offered to steal the docket of his case for R5000.
On 20 January, former Warrant Officer Frederick George de Bruin, 50, approached a suspect charged with reckless and negligent driving and promised to steal the police docket for R5000. According to Free State spokesperson, Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, de Bruin was not investigating the case.
The suspect reported de Bruin’s approach to the police who referred the matter to the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit and an entrapment was arranged.
“The exchange took place and the Warrant Officer was given R5000 cash and the whistleblower was given the police docket in which he was a suspect,” said Makhele.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Unit searched de Bruin’s house and found a pawn shop receipt for a state-owned laptop that was stolen. “Cash to the amount of R50000 was also found in his possession,” added Makhele.
The laptop was retrieved from an Odendaalsrus pawnshop and seized as it was stolen property.
The former Warrant Officer was charged with corruption, theft of a laptop, theft of police docket and defeating the ends of justice, according to police, and summarily dismissed from the South African Police Service (SAPS).
On 19 July, the case was finalised and de Bruin was sentenced to 15 years each for corruption, theft of laptop and theft of a police case docket. He was sentenced to an additional five years in jail for defeating the ends of justice.
“The sentence is a clear message that corruption does not pay and that as police management we will never tolerate any act of corruption within our rank,” said provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane.
“We commend the judiciary and thorough investigation conducted by a dedicated team to remove those who are criminals hiding behind our dignified badge,” added the commissioner.