An assistant master of the high court in Kimberley was found guilty on a charge of corruption after demanding to be paid a gratification to perform his official duties.
AN ASSISTANT master of the high court in Kimberley, Method Gqetywa, 48, was found guilty on a charge of corruption after he accepted a gratification amounting to R15,000 from complainants in order to process the estate of a deceased known to the complainants.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson for the Northern Cape, Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said Gqetywa was sentenced to seven years of which three were suspended for five years.
“The accused was arrested during a Section 252 (buy-and-bust) operation, when he solicited and accepted R15,000 cash to interfere with the administration of a deceased estate,” said Senokoatsane.
“On July 4, 2019, and July 18, 2019, when the accused was employed by the master of the high court, and working as assistant master, he accepted gratification amounting to R15,000 from the complainants in order to process the estate of a deceased known to the complainants. The accused, instead of executing his duties as stipulated, that he be honest, trustworthy, and professional as a public servant, acted in a manner that was illegal, untrustworthy and unauthorised by accepting the money.
“The matter was reported to the police and after an entrapment led by the police, the accused was arrested and charged with corruption.
“During the trial, senior State advocate Wilhelmus Els, from the Specialised Commercial Crime unit (SCCU), argued that a clear message should be sent to other would-be perpetrators in the public service, that the justice system is serious about fighting corruption and fraud-related cases, especially within the public sector. Advocate Els emphasised the importance of the court sentencing the accused to direct imprisonment for his indiscretions because he was trusted with a very important job of serving the people and he betrayed that trust by accepting the money in order to execute his duties.
“In sentencing, the court agreed with the State. The accused was found guilty, convicted on one count of corruption and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, of which three were suspended for a period of five years.”
Senokoatsane said the NPA hopes the sentence will be a deterrent to other possible perpetrators.
“The NPA applauds the prosecution team and the colleagues in the Hawks for getting a conviction on this matter. It is hoped that this sentence will send a clear message to other perpetrators of corruption and fraud that, indeed, the NPA and law enforcement agencies are serious about fighting crime.”