CAPTION: CARTOON: Sowetan’s Yalo
James Jonathan, a former warrant officer at the Humewood police station in Nelson Mandela Bay, was found guilty on seven charges – four of corruption and three of perjury.
The Port Elizabeth Regional Court sentenced him to six years in prison, two of which were suspended for five years on condition that he not be found guilty of corruption, perjury or theft.
One of Jonathan’s victims, Jonathan Snelgar, 25, has since emigrated to Canada, but his mother, Kristin, welcomed the sentence and said it was a step in the right direction in dealing with corrupt police officers.
“These are the same people who are meant to keep us safe and protect us. At the time, [Snelgar] was very rattled about the incident and I am just extremely glad justice has now been done and he [Jonathan] is out of the police ,” she said.
“As parents, we need a secure environment for our children to live in and for an officer of the law to do this is just not acceptable.”
Snelgar, who lived in Mount Road at the time, was driving home one night in March 2010 when Jonathan pulled him over for making an illegal U-turn in Russell Road.
Jonathan told Snelgar he was being arrested for drunk driving, told him to move over into the passenger seat so he could drive the Nissan bakkie to the Humewood police station.
But, as they were driving on the freeway, Jonathan asked Snelgar if they could go to draw money at an ATM.
Snelgar said he had no more money in his account,
Jonathan pulled the bakkie over on the freeway and took the R130 in Snelgar’s wallet and a half-eaten pizza on the back seat.
He then went back to the police which had been following them from Russell Road.
The next day, Snelgar contacted a friend in the police who helped him lay a complaint of corruption.
Snelgar’s allegations were published in The Herald and two more victims came forward, claiming Jonathan had extorted money from them.
In those cases the motorists, who had been parked on the side of the road late at night, said Jonathan had threatened to arrest them for being with prostitutes.
He told them he would let them go if they gave him R200, which both men did.
In March 2010, Jonathan was released on R10,000 bail pending the outcome of the investigation and was suspended from the police service.
Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis said the matter would now be sent to the disciplinary committee for finalisation. “He will be handed a dismissal notice in due course,” he said. “He [Jonathan] will serve his time in the St Albans prison.”
Kristin encouraged others to report corrupt officials so action could be taken. “It is the only way to make a difference,” she said.
and a half-eaten pizza
LoL, ma Grade 12 !
They pay diarrhea there
The truth of the matter is that majority of employed people feel that their salaries are not enough. Does it justify criminal activity? I also think its wrong when officers force motorists or pedestrians to give them bribe money.
@Cornelius please why don’t you go and find out what the training of Police Officers are all about? No Academy train thugs…Watch your tone