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E-wallet mula gets policeman in trouble!

A 26-year-old Constable Cheslyn Heckrath from the Belhar SAPS in Cape Town has been arrested for corruption. According to Cops’ spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi, Constable Heckrath assisted a suspect in escaping from police cells in exchange for a payment of R1000.

The incident took place on Friday, November 17, 2023, when the suspect, who had been arrested on a charge of fraud, was detained. Constable Heckrath allegedly approached the suspect and solicited the payment of R1000, promising to help him escape. The suspect agreed, and the money was transferred to the police officer via e-wallet.

Following their prior arrangement, Constable Heckrath helped the suspect escape during the night. However, the suspect was re-arrested in the early hours of Saturday, November 18, 2023, and subsequently blew the whistle on the corruption scheme. Warrant Officer Swartbooi stated that after an investigation, Constable Heckrath was arrested on Monday, November 20, 2023.

The officer has appeared in Bellville Magistrates Court on Wednesday 22 November in connection with the case. Constable Heckrath said was granted a R2000 bail and the case was postponed to 30 January 2024.

In a separate case, a former Hawks officer, Esmarelda Bailey, aged 55, has been found guilty of corruption and obstruction of justice on Tuesday 22 November. Bailey was originally arrested in 2011 and has since been out on bail. She appeared in court, facing charges related to stealing a cellphone from a crime scene, stealing exhibit firearm, selling a police docket, and even unlawfully possessing drugs.

She was also caught selling a set of police uniform, and even possessing drugs. Bailey’s trial concluded on November 21, 2023, with her being found guilty by the Bellville Serious Commercial Crimes Court. The matter has been remanded to 24 November 2023 for pre-sentencing.

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