Badul fired

2010-02-04 00:00

FORMER Mountain Rise police station commissioner Hariram Badul (60), who faces charges of fraud and theft, has instructed lawyers to challenge his dismissal from the police force just two days before his official retirement date on January 31.

His attorney, Petrus Coetzee, confirmed yesterday that Badul received a letter on Friday informing him he had been fired.

Coetzee said they will challenge the legality of the dismissal in court as Badul has not yet been convicted of any criminal charges he faces, nor has a disciplinary inquiry into his alleged conduct been finalised.

Badul is currently still recovering in St Anne’s Hospital from heart surgery, which he underwent during December soon after his arrest in connection with charges of fraud and theft totalling at least R467 000.

Other possible charges are still under investigation by the Hawks.

Badul gave evidence yesterday in support of his application for bail before regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren in which he denied claims by investigator, Inspector Robin Mays, that he had threatened at least two witnesses, and was likely to interfere with or intimidate others and destroy exhibits if released on bail.

Badul — who at one stage became emotional when speaking about his life-long ties to Pietermaritzburg and his 41-year long police career — said he had known for at least a month before his farm was raided by the Hawks about the investigations against him.

Had he wanted to do so, he could have destroyed property seized at his farm ahead of the raid, he said.

This included seven old case dockets and a large quantity of equipment, including several brush cutters and weed sprayers, as well as cleaning materials that the state alleges is government property.

Concerning the dockets that were discovered, Badul said they dated back to 1996, and in each case the DPP had decided not to prosecute.

The court heard that one docket concerned a reckless and negligent driving case involving the wife of a senior policeman and another a police superintendent who was charged with theft of an elephant’s foot.

Badul said he had signed out the dockets, but there was nothing illegal about his possession of them.

State advocate Wendy Greef urged the court to refuse Badul bail and submitted that his attitude that he was above the law was clearly revealed by Badul when he admitted that he had “technically” illegally possessed a ,22 rifle on his farm.

Badul testified that a friend had left the weapon at his farm “for about six weeks” and he admitted he had carried it at times for protection against snakes.

This caused Van Vuuren to question if Badul had a licence for the firearm, which he did not, and also to ask him if he was aware that courts regularly sentence people to “four or five years in jail for doing the very same thing”.

Badul was also taxed by the magistrate on whether he had thought he was entitled to use a police van and police personnel for private purposes.

This issue arose from Badul’s evidence that when he was given an hour to clear his desk last November, he asked a cleaner and a police constable to help clear his office and transport his property to his farm in a state vehicle.

Badul replied there was “nothing illegal” about it and said he did so in the presence of another commissioner.

Advocate Matthews argued that Badul has not been charged for the unlawful possession of the ,22 rifle in question, and submitted that the court could not deny him his freedom because he’d used a government vehicle for private purposes.

Van Vuuren responded that his questions had been aimed at establishing Badul’s “attitude” and said it appeared as if Badul did not see anything wrong with what he had done.

Van Vuuren said he will give judgment in the bail application on Monday, February 8.

Badul’s five co-accused who are on bail were ordered to appear in court again on March 3. They are; Superintendent Yunus Khan, Capt Suresh Naraindath, Constable Patrick Nkabini, SAPS administration clerk, Edward Isaac and civilian, Sigamoney Pillay.

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