- S V Singh and Others 2016 (2) SACR 443 (SCA)
During 2007 to 2008, members of the SAPS conducted an undercover operation under section 252A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. This operation was targeted at eliminating a syndicate which hijacked large 18-wheeler trucks on the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban. The hijacked vehicles were then driven to quiet side roads where the wheels were removed and delivered to the coordinator of the syndicate for reward. During the operation, Sgt Smith acted as the undercover agent while Capt Ungerer was the project manager and handler of Sgt Smith.
The operation was extremely successful in that three accused persons were ultimately convicted before the High Court in Durban on 20 counts, ranging from racketeering in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA), robbery with aggravating circumstances, corruption in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm, attempted murder and money-laundering (also) in terms of POCA. Each of the three accused were sentenced to relatively long terms of incarceration.
On appeal against both their convictions and sentences before a full bench of five judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein (the SCA), one of the challenges raised by the accused, was based on the ground that “the conduct of the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP], in authorising Sgt Smith to involve himself in further criminal conduct after the identity of the syndicate members had been established, endangered the safety of the public order”.