Official in dock for prepaid meter bribe

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Cape Town - A complaint to the City of Cape Town’s municipal fraud hotline, has led to the appearance in court of a municipal official for alleged corruption.

David van der Vent, 52, of Mitchell’s Plain, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

He was warned to return to court on March 22, when he is expected to plead to the charge.

According to the charge sheet, Yusuf Solomons complained to a call centre two years ago, about a pre-paid electricity box’s defective key pad.

The same day, Van der Vent informed him that the electricity in the pre-paid box had been illegally “by-passed”, and that it would cost Solomons a R10 000 fine.

The prosecutor, senior State advocate Xolile Jonas, alleges that Van der Vent offered the next day to scrap the fine, if Solomons paid him R3 600.

Instead of paying the R3 600, Solomons reported it to the municipal fraud hotline.

An under cover police operation was authorised to trap Van der Vent, and two police officials were present in Solomons’s home when Van der Vent arrived to repair the pre-paid key pad.

One police official hid in a room, while Solomons introduced the other to Van der Vent as his friend.

It is alleged that, after repairing the key pad, Van der Vent requested and was paid the R3 600.

At this point, the “friend” introduced himself to Van der Vent as a police official, and Van der Vent was arrested.

The alleged incident happened on April 17, 2014.

African News Agency

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