Gangster-loving cop jailed
Beeming collapsed justice system by hiding suspect, says magistrate
Corrupt cop Alicia Beeming collapsed the justice system and as such a prison term is the only suitable sentence, a Port Elizabeth magistrate has ruled.
A dejected Beeming, 36, who hid the whereabouts of a wanted gangster from her fellow officers while she worked in the police’s gang unit, hung her head in shame as magistrate Onke Myataza sentenced her to four years in prison on Thursday.
She had been convicted in August 2017 after pleading guilty to a charge of defeating the ends of justice.
Beeming’s family and supporters sat quietly in the back of the public gallery in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court as the sentence was handed down.
She was granted 30 days to get her affairs in order, which includes arranging the care of her three children – a 15-yearold son and twin daughters, aged 12.
Myataza said that a custodial sentence was the only option to consider after he found that Beeming had not only “obstructed the administration of justice [but] in fact undermined it”.
It was not clear if Beeming would be subject to specific conditions or how her movements would be monitored over the next 30 days.
Beeming’s guilty plea came after she was found to have shielded alleged high-ranking Upstand Dogs member Hans Jordaan.
Jordaan, who was believed to have been Beeming’s lover at the time, was being searched for by the police’s gang unit for attempted murder.
Myataza found the state had proved that as a result of Beeming’s actions, the charges against Jordaan were dropped and he was never prosecuted.
“As a result, the victims did not receive justice,” the magistrate said.
Beeming – a member of the gang unit since 2016 – was an investigating officer mandated to investigate, research and gather information specifically related to the Upstand Dogs and Dustlives gangs.
Myataza said the evidence led by former gang unit boss Colonel Mike Grobler during aggravation of sentencing was damning.
“[Grobler’s] evidence was not actually challenged by the defence.
“The seriousness of the offence was laid bare by Grobler.
“[Beeming] put the lives of colleagues in danger as well as those of witnesses.
“As a police officer, [Beeming] did not discharge her constitutional mandate [to protect and serve], instead she collapsed the whole justice system,” Myataza said.
He said the protracted case was regrettable and unprecedented.
Beeming changed her legal representation a number of times after pleading guilty.
In February, defence attorney Hennie Bence withdrew from the matter, claiming a breakdown in their relationship, after Beeming failed to follow instructions or show up for consultations.
During the presentencing proceedings, Beeming elected to represent herself, saying that she could no longer afford a lawyer and the Legal Aid Board would not assist as she was still employed by the SAPS.
Beeming made headlines of a different kind in early 2018, when she was promoted to the rank of sergeant despite her guilty plea.
An internal investigation into the promotion resulted in Beeming being demoted back to constable and fined a total of R2,400. She was sent to the Motherwell Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS) after the guilty plea in 2017.
Asked how the SA Police Service would, in future, prevent similar situations arising of police officers that are charged in criminal cases and then promoted, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci said: “All short-listed candidates and candidates due for progression will be audited by discipline management with regard to their conduct in future. Valuable lessons were learnt from the Beeming promotion.”
Soci said when a police member was handed a jail sentence without the option of a fine, it would be regarded as an automatic dismissal in terms of the Police Act.
The magistrate found that Beeming had broken the trust of both her employer and the public as she had been bound by an oath of secrecy while in the gang unit.
Grobler had testified that following Beeming’s arrest, all the cases she was working on had to be withdrawn and the charges dropped against those in custody.
Myataza said in considering an appropriate sentence, he had to look at the wellbeing of Beeming’s three children.
He said a number of reports and statements submitted to the court as evidence by social workers, and Beeming’s former partners and family members, among others, gave him the impression that her children would be well taken care of.
This was borne out by statements by the two fathers of Beeming’s three children and an aunt, as well as reports by the necessary authorities.
“I am satisfied that the children will be well taken care of while [Beeming] serves her sentence,” Myataza said.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga welcomed the sentencing.
“Nobody is above the law and [Beeming’s] sentencing is a clear indication that corruption within the South African Police Service will not be tolerated.
“It is very disturbing when some police officials do not abide by the SAPS code of conduct and abuse their powers as police officials, thereby tarnishing the reputation of their colleagues and the organisation.
“Corrupt police officials must know that, like any other criminal, crime does not pay and it is only a matter of time before they are exposed.”
Ntshinga said corruption of any sort undermined the rule of law and caused communities to lose faith in the police.
“Therefore we can assure the communities that once a corrupt official is exposed, serious consequential actions will follow like this one.
“We also urge them to report police officials involved with gang members or gang activities,” Ntshinga said.