Minister must pay harassed security man

2011-11-22 00:00

TWO policemen have cost the Ministry of Police police R300 000 after they arrested a security guard who was doing his job and subsequently tried to sabotage his case.

This after an incident last year when Lieutenant-Colonel Ruben Govender and Warrant Officer Anesh Haridan prevented Reaction Unit South Africa’s area manager, Kieran Ramjogi, from making an arrest at a drunken brawl in a Verulam tavern. “The officers pushed me in front of the patrons and told me that I can’t make an arrest,” Ramjogi said.

An altercation broke out thereafter and the two policemen encouraged the suspect to become unruly so as to make the arrest difficult for Ramjogi.

Ramjogi then continued with his duties and after seeking advice from Rusa management, he reported to the Verulam SAPS to open a case against Govender.

In a statement, Ramjogi said that at the police station Govender attempted to use his influence to stop him from opening a criminal case.

A senior policeman at Verulam SAPS asked Ramjogi to report Govender to the SAPS provincial commissioner’s office and after the intervention of the provincial office, a criminal case was registered against Govender.

It is believed that Govender then asked one of the detectives, who was known to be his friend, to investigate the case against him and eventually Ramjogi was charged by Warrant Officer Anesh Haridhan.

Ramjogi said it was clear that Haridhan was acting in favour of Govender, who was the suspect in his matter, and then detained him.

A civil case was then lodged against Govender and Haridhan and both policemen were initially sued for R300 000.

Govender was transferred to Phoenix SAPS during this period.

The matter then went to trial in the Durban Regional Court last week and it was ordered that a percentage of the amount be paid to the Ramjogi — including interest accrued, travelling and other costs. The state did not oppose.

The magistrate further added that the money must be paid to the reaction officer within 32 days.

Reaction Unit South Africa head Prem Balram said that he was happy with the outcome of the case and added that three other civil cases are pending against the very same policemen for interfering with reaction officers performing their duties.

Balram said that he would not disclose the amount awarded to the Rusa member by the civil court, but added that the monies awarded will be used to fight crime.

SAPS said it is not in their mandate to comment on the casesince it was the Minister of Police who was sued and spokesperson for the Ministry of Police, Zweli Mnisi could not be contacted for comment.

• rowan.sewchurran@witness.co.za

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