LIMPOPO FORMER COURT INTERPRETER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR CORRUPTION

LIMPOPO FORMER COURT INTERPRETER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR CORRUPTION

The Giyani Specialised Commercial Crimes Court has convicted and sentenced Tshitale Court interpreter, Baldwin Nevondwe (42), to six years of direct imprisonment for two counts of corruption. On 25 October 2021, in Tshitale Magistrates’ Court, the accused met with the complainant who was attending court and called him to the office of the public prosecutor, he told him that he is facing a serious offence which can put him in jail. He then said that the complainant must pay R500 for the case to disappear. The complainant said that he has only R300 at home and the accused ordered him to fetch it and he will pay the balance the following day. After the ordeal, the complainant then reported the matter to the South African Police Service, who then approached the HAWKS (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations) to organise a trap.

In another similar complaint, the other complainant (deceased) was in court to pay an admission of guilt fine, when the accused approached the deceased and requested that he come to his office. Upon arrival at the office, he wanted to know how much he has and the deceased told him that he has R800. He then asked for R600 for a soft drink and accompanied him to the cash hall for payment; however, the amount that was fixed as an admission of guilt fine was not written on the docket. The clerk referred them back to the prosecutor to endorse the amount on the docket. He then paid R200 as an admission of guilt fine, after the prosecutor made such an endorsement.

In aggravation of the sentence, the state Advocate Mpho Mothupi submitted that the accused, as a public officer, abused his power of authority and the trust the public had in him. He demanded gratification from people who were not employed at the time, whereas he had his salary.

The NPA condemns the behaviour of the court interpreter and is disappointed that someone in his position would commit such crimes. We further commend the good work done by the police, HAWKS and Advocate Mothupi, to ensure that justice is served.

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