Ex-Hawks cop seemed nervous, court hears

Cape Town - Former Hawks captain Siyaza Patrick Siyale appeared nervous after police approached him moments after he allegedly received a bag containing cash, a Cape Town court heard on Wednesday.

A State witness, who may not be named for security reasons, told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court he was part of a police undercover operation to trap Siyale in June 2012.

Siyale and former colleague Wilfred Arno Mentoor have pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg to charges of corruption, theft, and defeating the ends of justice.

Siyale, alone, has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of extortion.

The case revolves around Siyale's alleged victim, Nicodemus Moeng, at the time the Cape Town president of the French SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was innocently caught up in a so-called black dollar scam.

Prosecutor Denzyl Combrink alleges the two accused intercepted Moeng and threatened to arrest him for involvement in the black dollar scam unless he paid them R10 000.

During proceedings on Wednesday, the witness told the court he parked at the McDonalds restaurant in Observatory, where Moeng was to give Siyale a bag containing R100 notes, as part of a police trap.

The witness watched as Siyale approached Moeng's car to be handed the bag.

Moeng drove off, and the witness and a colleague approached Siyale as he returned to his car. He said Siyale was visibly nervous when they identified themselves and asked to search him.

At that point, a police colonel and a warrant officer, both also involved in the operation, arrived, and arrested Siyale, the witness said.

Questioned by defence lawyer Hayley Lawrence, the witness said he was attached at the time to a police unit involved in high and medium risk operations, which included observation duties during undercover operations.

According to the charge sheet, Congolese businessman David Kilato approached Moeng with a business proposal.

Kilato claimed to be the only son of an assassinated Democratic Republic of Congo army general, and told Moeng he feared for his own life. He wanted a partner in South Africa to help move his business to South Africa.

Moeng fell for the scam, and lost about R300 000 that Kilato claimed he needed to transfer money to South Africa.

Moeng received four small safes from Kilato, supposedly containing Kilato's money as well as Moeng's R300 000. They in fact contained pieces of paper cut to the size of dollar bills and dyed black.

The trial was postponed to 7 October.