Lamoer denied state sponsored legal services

The suspended police commissioner and five others face 109 charges, including corruption and racketeering.

FILE: Arno Lamoer. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High court has heard that suspended Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer and three senior ranking police officers have been denied state-sponsored legal services in their corruption and racketeering case.

The police officials are accused of receiving gifts and cash from Cape Town businessman Mohamed Saleem Dawjee in exchange for special treatment and protection.

Dawjee and his son, who is a director of two companies implicated in the scandal, have also been criminally charged.

The three police officials and the Dawjee men face 109 charges between them, including fraud and corruption.

They appeared before Judge Robert Henney today for a pre-trial conference.

While State prosecutor Billy Downer said he was ready to proceed, most of the accused needed time to figure out how they would be paying their legal fees.

Advocate Johann Nortje, who represents one of the accused, told Henney that national police commissioner Riah Phiyega made the "irrational decision" to deny the police officers the services of the State attorney.

Lamoer, meanwhile, has opted to pay for private legal representation.

The case has been postponed to October for a second pre-trial hearing.