Potential witness arrested for contempt of court
“There is no one above the law, exclaimed by the Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Zodwa Mokoena. The exclamation came after the arrest of a 45-year-old potential witness who defied the instructions of the court by refusing to receive or sign for the J32 “Subpoena in a criminal proceeding which summoned her to attend and give evidence in court on Friday, 12 August 2022.
It is alleged that in June 2016 the main accused on this matter fraudulently utilized the Government Department of Transport letter head to source suppliers. After the supplier bought and delivered the procured assets the, suspect vanished without paying her. The victim waited for payment but nothing was received. She then went to the Department of Transport to enquire about the payment for the assets she procured. The department responded that they never ordered anything from her.
The matter was reported to the Middelburg based Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation for further probe. During the investigation the accused was arrested and later released on bail and she is still attending court. Witnesses were summoned and testified in court and only one potential witness from the Department was subpoenaed to come and testify.
On the 30 June 2022 the investigating officer went to the department to serve the witness with J32 subpoena to go and testify at the Middelburg Commercial Crime court.
On arrival at the address, the investigating officer explained to her the reason for his visit and that she had to receive and sign the subpoena. She then refused and told the investigating officer to take the subpoena back to court and throw it to the prosecutor as she was not coming. She further said that she is no longer interested in the case and the prosecutor should stop calling or email her anything concerning the case.
The case was postponed to 25 July 2022 for her to appear in court but she failed to attend. The Magistrate issued a warrant for her arrest on that day. On the 12 August 2022, she was arrested pending her first court appearance on Monday, 15 August 2022 at the Middelburg Commercial Crime court and she remain in custody.
Major General Mokoena caution that “The arrest should serve as a reminder to others that witnesses have an obligation to appear before court to testify and not their discretion. Any witness who undermine the court will become an accused. She concluded by strengthening and encouraging the investigators to continue with the good work without fear, favor or prejudice.
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
071 481 3493