Arno Lamoer to leave Saps at the end of November

Lamoer said despite the controversy he’s been embroiled in, it has always his intention to retire at 55.

FILE: General Arno Lamoer checks his phone outside the Western Cape High Court for his pre-trial conference. Lamoer and three police officials and the Dawjee men face 109 charges between them, including fraud and corruption. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Suspended Western Cape police Commissioner Arno Lamoer, is to officially leave the South African Police Service (Saps) at the end of this month.

After more than 30 years in the service, Lamoer is bowing out with a cloud of controversy hanging over his head

Lamoer, the three senior officers, Cape Town businessman Mohamed Saleem Dawjee, and his son Zameer, are facing more than 100 criminal charges.

Despite the controversy he's been embroiled in, Lamoer says it has always his intention to retire at 55.

"I've had some very exciting times in the police. More ups than downs and I'm glad I could serve my country and the people of this country for 35 years in the police."

His contract, which expires at the end of the month, won't be renewed.

Lamoer will now have to focus on defending himself against the rash of criminal charges, including corruption.

The prosecution in Lamoer's corruption case is ready to go ahead with the trial, but there is a hitch.

Prosecutor Billy Downer told the court he was ready for trial.

But a date can't be set at this stage because three of the accused; Brigadier Kolidhren Govender, his wife Sharon and Darius van der Ross, intend challenging a decision taken by the state attorney's office to deny them funding for their legal bills.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato, said the suspension of Lamoer has had a negative impact on policing.

Plato delivered an analysis of the recent crime statistics at the Provincial Legislature on Thursday.

He claimed 85 percent of the Cape's police stations are under-resourced.

The MEC has painted a grim picture, with murder as well as car-jacking and robberies on the rise.

Plato said alleged corruption within the police service, especially the arrest of Lamoer on a raft of charges, including corruption and racketeering, further hampers crime fighting efforts.

"It's actually saying to the gangsters, we approve of what you are doing because we are involved ourselves."