Kevin Perumal fires his attorney

2011-07-19 00:00

THE trial of suspended senior Msunduzi manager Kevin Perumal (42), who was charged in 2007 with abuse of travel and subsistence claims totalling around R30 000, was delayed yesterday following a decision by Perumal to fire his attorney, Naren Sangham, and possibly call him as a witness in the trial.

Perumal pleaded not guilty in December last year to charges of fraud arising from allegedly false travel and subsistence claims submitted prior to 2006.

When the case resumed yesterday after an adjournment of several months, Sangham raised objections to an attempt by the prosecution to introduce as evidence a document that the investigating officer claims was handed to him by Perumal at a meeting in the presence of Sangham and state advocate Rema Mahabeer during 2007.

Sangham told the court that Perumal admitted that he had handed over a handwritten document (of which Perumal was the author) to the state.

However, he denied that he had ever handed over the specific document that the prosecution had wanted to lead evidence about, which was a computer-generated document.

Perumal would allege that he provided his personal assistant with the handwritten document, and that his personal assisistant in turn produced the computer-generated spreadsheet, the court was told.

Sangham warned that the dispute would cause him to become a potential witness.

Regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren stood the case down to enable the parties to discuss the issue.

He warned Perumal that this was “not the end of the matter” and that the case “will not go away” no matter what happens.

He granted Perumal an adjournment until July 27 to enable him to consult his new attorney, identified as Chantal Badul, and to brief an advocate.

Perumal is one of two senior managers placed on special leave from the Msunduzi Municipality on full pay pending the outcome of displinary procedures.

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