South Africa rhino poaching: ‘Bribes paid to court syndicate’
By BBC Alastair Leithead
BBC World News
‘Pattern of racketeering’
In an affidavit, Fresh describes cases in detail in which he names magistrates and prosecutors he was instructed by his uncle, defense attorney Ngwenya, to pay bribes to. These were predominantly rhino poaching cases, including the case of accused rhino horn dealer Dumisani Gwala, who is yet to go on trial.
Many of these names, and others, also appear in a confidential report for the Magistrates’ Commission, seen by the BBC.
It contains allegations against Eric Nzimande, KwaZulu-Natal Regional Court President, from one of his own acting magistrates, concerning payments being made in exchange for their appointments.
Bank account searches led the investigator to widen the report to include other court officials.
The Nzimande Report outlines the accusations and finds that there “appears to have [been] a pattern of racketeering activity”, urging further investigation.
Photo credit: Thomas D. Mangelsen | Saving the Wild Collection.
FRONT PAGE SUNDAY TRIBUNE | SEPTEMBER 9, 2018
KZN lawman who appoints magistrates embroiled in bribes scandal
DURBAN – The Magistrates’ Commission has moved to suspend KZN’s regional court president Eric Nzimande over allegations of misconduct.
The magistrate was served with a charge sheet on Tuesday and was given 14 days to respond to the claims.
He is in charge of appointing magistrates throughout the province.
Saving the Wild Director, Jamie Joseph, said she was relieved that Nzimande had finally been charged after three years of investigation.
Given all the racketeering, coupled with all the cash bribes, the terrible truth is that untold murderers, rapists, rhino poachers and other criminals are out there walking free because of a systematic web of corruption woven by the very people put in charge of protecting South Africans, claimed Joseph.
“Justice must be served to all,” she said.
Asked why it took three years to conclude the investigation, Moosa said: “The delays were due to the complicated nature of the investigations. There was a large volume of documentary evidence to view and witnesses to interview.