A man from East London is in hot water after he demanded R1 million from a high-ranking Eastern Cape government official in order to destroy his docket.
The official is facing some serious criminal allegations that are currently in court.
The official who is a victim, in this case, was approached by the suspect Zane Bernard (45). He told him that his girlfriend works at the Magistrate’s Court and they knew the presiding officer handling his case. He promised that together with his girlfriend they were going to make the docket disappear if he coughed R1 million.
Narrating the incident Hawks spokeswoman Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said Bernard and the official knew each other as they had played tennis together. She said the man was approached by Bernard six months ago.
“It is alleged that during September 2022, the victim received a call from the suspect informing him that the suspect will have the victim’s docket destroyed if he agrees to a R1 million deal between the suspect and his girlfriend since they knew the presiding officer on the complainant’s case.
“The victim is having a serious case pending against him and he is a high-ranking departmental official. The suspect and the victim know each other from tennis matches that they played together,” said Mgolodela.
Between September last year and February, the two had several conversations.
“After several conversations, the deal was struck and the duo decided on rendezvous to exchange the deposit of R250 000 as down payment for the deal. It is at that juncture that the Hawks experienced the monetary exchange of R250 000 through their undercover tactics. The suspect was immediately arrested and cash was recovered at the scene,” said Mgolodela.