Our hero this week is an honest cop who will have nothing to do with corruption. Colonel Hansia Asaram – now Hansraj – heads the Goodwood police station, and it was her diligence in pursuing what she suspected was corruption in the ranks, which led to charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering being laid against Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and four co-accused.
The officers have been suspended and all the accused are out on bail of R5 000 each.
Hansraj has been in the news before for her good work – in 2010 a report in the Tygerburger noted that since she took over as head of the Goodwood station, “there has been a major decrease in crime in the area, especially crimes of a serious nature”. She was named Station Commander of the Year in 2013.
The investigation into Lamoer and his co-accused started in 2012. He is said to have a corrupt relationship with businessman Saleem Dawjee, and with three other police officers, is suspected of having received bribes and other gratifications of over R1.5-million since 2011. National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is also implicated in the case for allegedly tipping off Lamoer to the investigation into his affairs.
In the lengthy indictment presented to the court, it was revealed that Hansraj became aware of some of the transactions and began to suspect the presence of corruption. She stopped her officers from having any dealings with businessmen in the area, including Dawjee. Despite threats and intimidation, as told in a Sunday Times article from November 2013, Hansraj was undeterred.
“Dawjee has been on the community police forums in the section for many years and she sacked him. That’s when all hell broke loose because her cluster commander, Van der Ross, tried to intimidate her. [She] stood up to them,” a senior officer told the newspaper at the time.
The indictment also revealed that Dawjee acted in an “abusive and threatening” manner towards Hansraj.
News24 reported last month that Lamoer, whose trial starts on 12 June, will be defended by criminal attorney Zaheer Karjiker and Advocate Reuben Liddell – at taxpayers’ expense.