By Shaun Gillham
A FORMER Nelson Mandela Bay police informer who has fingered three prominent police officers as being linked to a sinister Port Elizabeth human trafficking ring, is living in fear after repeated threats on her life.
The informant, who spoke to Weekend Post on condition of anonymity, was involved in gathering crucial information which led to the city’s biggest human trafficking bust in 2010.
The identities of the three police officers, including a high-ranking officer, are known to Weekend Post. They are understood to currently be serving at three different policing precincts in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“At various meetings of the human trafficking syndicate I was observing [on behalf of the police] I regularly saw these police officers in attendance,” the informant said.
But while she and other intelligence sources claim the allegations against the allegedly corrupt officers are being “swept under the carpet” by high-placed police officials in Bhisho, Humewood police station commander Brigadier Ronald Koll yesterday acknowledged an extensive case around the informant was being investigated.
Koll told Weekend Post he had received an affidavit on the matter from Nelson Mandela Bay city councillor Jeremy Davis.
“I can confirm that the matter is receiving attention and that the allegations made in the affidavit are part of an ongoing investigation,” Koll said.
“I can also confirm that certain SAPS members, including a high-ranking officer, are being investigated in connection with this case,” Koll said.
Davis said he first became aware of the latest issues around her work with the police between eight and nine months ago and that a full report had been recently handed to Koll.
“I have sent a file on this matter to Diana Kohler-Barnard who is the DA shadow minister for justice, for her attention. I have also been in touch with the Independent Police Investigation Directorate with respect to this matter,” Davis said.
The informant, who said she feared for her safety as well as that of family members, was first recruited as an informant during 2005, but apparently fell foul of senior provincial police management about five years later after naming allegedly corrupt police officers in a particular intelligence report.
As a result the informant was diverted to gathering intelligence on other crimes in the Central area of the city.
However, the informant had already gathered the information which led to the big human trafficking bust in 2010.
The case was struck from the Port Elizabeth New Law Court roll in September.
While the case was ultimately struck off the roll due to lack of evidence, it followed testimony from a Hawks investigator during an initial bail application, in which he told the court of the “corrupt relationship between certain members of the SAPS using drugs and consuming alcohol” with the suspects at a Central premises.
At her wit’s end the informant approached Weekend Post this week claiming she had asked the police to assist and protect her but to no avail.
Backed by timelines, specific dates, identities, police case numbers and information such as vehicle types and registration plates, copies of which are in Weekend Post’s possession, the source has claimed that:
* Ongoing threats were being made against her life by specific foreign and armed individuals in Central;
* Foreigners in the area make use of Port Elizabeth’s northern areas gangsters to carry out “dirty work”;
* She has been robbed and then attacked on three separate occasions by a “man associated with the Nigerian group” who may be a member or former member of a notorious South African prison gang;
* She was abducted in Central during October last year and was taken to the Willows Resort area near Noordhoek where she was severely assaulted by two men claiming to be police officers sent to Port Elizabeth “to protect her”;
* She was held at gunpoint inside the vehicle of the same two men who demanded information; and
* She was currently still being subjected to death threats and intimidation and lives in fear of being killed.
The source said human trafficking activities had continued while the six men were in detention and remained “rife” in the city.
The informant warned that parents should be aware that a human trafficking syndicate in Port Elizabeth targeted local schools “where they take photographs of students of all race groups” who they then discuss and earmark for use in activities associated with human trafficking, including prostitution.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday July 21 2012.
Article source: http://theweekendpost.com/2012/07/27/dirty-cops-out-to-get-me/