Ex-cop Naidoo admits he lied in affidavit

2012-08-28 00:00

FORMER Mountain Rise policeman Stanley Naidoo admitted yesterday that he had lied in an affidavit to police in March 2010 about his reasons for having forged numerous signatures of his superior, Captain Suresh Naraindath, on documents.

Naidoo — a key state witness in the racketeering, corruption and theft trial of former station commissioner Director Hariram Badul and four others, including Naraindath — has testified that he forged Badul and Naraindath’s signatures on “hundreds” of documents that passed through his hands at the supply chain management office at Mountain Rise.

He told Judge Rashid Vahed and two assessors in evidence that he had done so on Naraindath’s instructions, and with Badul’s knowledge and approval.

Naidoo testified that forging his superiors’ signatures became a “habit”. At times Naraindath would be present, yet he would order Naidoo to sign on his behalf, he said. He had felt under pressure to do so.

During cross examination by advocate Christo van Schalkwyk SC for Badul yesterday, Naidoo was confronted with an affidavit he made to investigators on March 18, 2010, in relation to the forging of Naraindath’s signature after the issue was raised during the accused’s bail application.

In the affidavit, Naidoo said his reason for signing Naraindath’s signature was that Naraindath was a “sickly person” suffering from diabetes who was hardly ever at the office.

Under cross examination yesterday he initially insisted that this was “not a lie”, but after being warned by the judge not to “play with words”, Naidoo agreed that he in fact had lied in the affidavit.

He further admitted that he had not told the police investigators prior to March 2010 that he had been forced to forge Naraindath and Badul’s signatures on documents.

Asked why he had not simply told the police that he was forced to sign because he was scared of Naraindath, he replied: “I don’t know”.

It further emerged during questioning by Van Schalkwyk that Naidoo had forged Naraindath’s signature on other documents dating as far back as 2004, before Badul came to Mountain Rise.

He admitted having signed as a commissioner of oaths on Naraindath’s behalf, and further admitted having written out statements on behalf of “elderly” people, which were brought to him by Naraindath and which he signed even though the deponent was not present.

Naidoo was also challenged by Van Schalkwyk yesterday about his reasons for taking very little leave due to him between the years 2006 and 2009, and none at all in 2008.

He denied Van Schalkwyk’s suggestion that this was to avoid a “replacement” coming in who would discover the “scams” he [Naidoo] was up to.

Naidoo said whenever he applied for leave Naraindath, who was his immediate boss, would refuse to grant it.

• At the start of yesterday’s hearing Judge Vahed issued a stern warning to the accused in the case to refrain from making “untoward” comments about or to any witnesses.

He was referring to a remark allegedly made by Badul to the effect that Naidoo was “full of sh*t”, which had been reported in a weekend newspaper.

“This kind of conduct stops now,” the judge warned.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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