Cop granted bail

2014-08-18 00:00

SUSPENDED Mountain Rise policeman Anesh Chathu was granted bail of R8 000 on Friday on strict conditions.

Chathu is charged with two counts of intimidation and malicious damage to property.

These arise from allegations that between May and August 7 this year, Chathu had sent a barrage of threatening SMSes to Vidyl Marion, the man he suspects of having an affair with his estranged wife, Kajal.

The investigating officer, Piet van Zanten, testified that the couple deny having an affair and described one another as “friends”.

Both Marion and Kajal Chathu susbsequently obtained protection orders against Chathu.

Another allegation facing Chathu is that he slashed all four tyres of Marion’s bakkie at his residence in Ashburton on June 7.

He allegedly did so in full view of Marion, after shouting threats at him through the bedroom window.

He allegedly told Marion; “Virus, come out. I want to show you. I am going to put my gun up your p***s”.

When Marion did not come outside he went to the bakkie and “stabbed” all four tyres, which cost R7 650 to replace.

He then sent Marion another SMS saying he “took a chance with the wrong person” and he will “regret ever looking at Kajal”.

He said he wanted payment from Marion for “f*****g his wife”.

Van Zanten, who opposed Chathu’s release on bail, said he feared that he might harm or “even kill” his estranged wife or Marion, or carry out other threats he’d made suggesting he was going to abduct or rape Marion’s 12-year-old daughter.

He said Chathu continued his campaign of harassment and threats against Marion even after Van Zanten asked him on three different occasions to stop.

Cross examining Van Zanten on Friday, Chathu’s new attorney, Naren Sangham, said Chathu would deny sending any threatening SMSes to Marion and maintained they had been fabricated.

“He believes they come from Vidyl Marion himself,” said Sangham.

Van Zanten conceded the SMS messages — some of which have been copied and photographed — have not yet been authenticated, in the sense that he has yet to obtain warrants to examine the cellphone records obtained from Chathu’s cellphone.

Granting Chathu bail, Magistrate V. Premraj ordered that he was not to intimidate any witnesses.

She banned him from communicating with Marion, Marion’s daughter, or Kajal Chathu.

She further ordered that Chathu’s police firearm be retained by the SAPS until the trial is finalised.

Even if Chathu’s suspension is lifted, he should not be re-issued with a firearm pending the outcome, she ruled.

The case was postponed to September 19.

‘We were not put under pressure’

UNDER cross examination by defence attorney Naren Sangham, the investigating officer Piet van Zanten denied he was put under “pressure” in the case by a senior officer.

KwaZulu-Natal’s head of detectives, Brigadier Clifford Marion, is the uncle of Vidyl Marion.

Sangham also questioned alleged “irregular and unprofessional conduct” by Mountain Rise station commander Brigadier Francis Bantham in approaching the previous magistrate, Ntsoaki Ndawonde, in her office.

Bantham allegedly told Ndawonde not to order Chathu to be detained at Mountain Rise police cells, despite a letter of consent that was signed by another senior officer.

This caused Ndawonde to recuse herself from the bail hearing.

— Witness Reporter.

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