A ROGUE police sergeant has been fired after an internal police investigation found him guilty of stealing jewellery worth more than R200000 from a woman who was attempting to commit suicide at her Sherwood home.
Kabega Park Sergeant Reece Dhanda, 37, was dismissed two weeks ago following an internal disciplinary hearing involving the theft of two rings.
Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said Dhanda was given 21 days to appeal against the finding but "he has not yet filed documents to show his intention to contest the decision".
Dhanda's arrest and dismissal relate to an incident on August 17 last year when he and two police constables were dispatched to a house in Sherwood following a call from Lifeline to attend to a woman in her 50s who had taken an overdose of tablets.
Rheeder said a jewellery box containing two rings – one valued at R128000 and the other at R110000 – sat on the dressing table when the three officers arrived at the house.
The complainant was alone in the house.
The rings – which belonged to the woman's husband and which the couple had intended to become family heirlooms – were kept locked away and only removed because they wanted to send them to their daughter in Gauteng.
The theft was reported after the woman was discharged from hospital.
When all three officers denied their involvement, police demanded they take a polygraph test. However, before this took place one of the constables revealed he had seen Dhanda putting the items in his pocket.
While the two constables then passed the test, Dhanda refused to take it and was arrested on September 19 last year.
Two days after his release on bail of R1000, the rings were mysteriously found in the woman's postbox.
Prosecutors have decided not to pursue criminal charges at this stage because the woman is still too emotionally distressed.
"The complainant is still unstable and has been in and out of Hunterscraig hospital.
"The prosecutors did not want to go ahead with the criminal charges. However, we [police] proceeded with our internal processes," Rheeder said. The Kabega Park police station has made the headlines often in the past year with officers stationed there accused of being involved in cash-in- transit robberies and rape