Municipal bodyguard held

2008-10-06 00:00

A bodyguard for Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Mervyn Dirks is one of the two men arrested yesterday morning and charged with kidnapping and extortion.

Both charges are believed to be related to drug-dealing at a city centre night clubs.

The bodyguard was arrested along with a friend who is a “known drug dealer” around Pietermaritzburg.

The names of the two suspects are known to The Witness, but they cannot be named until they appear in court.

Police spokesman Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed that Dirks’s bodyguard was arrested and charged with kidnapping and extortion.

He said the bodyguard’s friend, who is not employed by the municipality, was also charged with the unlawful possession of a municipal firearm.

The firearm can be carried by authorised municipal employees only while carrying out their duties.

Budhram said it is alleged that the bodyguard and his friend approached a drug dealer from Durban to sell drugs on their behalf.

It is alleged that the seller could not bring the profits of the consignment of drugs, valued at R4 000, to his handlers after he took the drugs on credit.

He was then allegedly abducted by the two men during the early hours of yesterday and taken to a secluded place in Athlone where he was assaulted.

Budhram said that during the assault the drug peddler’s cellphone rang and when the caller learnt about what was happening he asked to speak to the bodyguard and his friend to work out a deal.

The caller, added Budhram, was told that R4 000 was demanded for the alleged peddler’s release.

He said the bodyguard and his friend were told that they would meet the caller at a petrol station and the caller would pay them.

The caller alerted the police about the meeting. The police then kept tabs on the transaction.

Budhram said the bodyguard left before the transaction was made and returned after the drug peddler was released and both he and his friend were arrested.

He said the bodyguard’s friend was found in possession of a municipal 9 mm pistol.

Subsequent investigations, he said, found that the transaction was related to drugs.

“Both the suspects are expected to appear in court [tomorrow] on charges of kidnapping and extortion, while the bodyguard’s friend faces an additional charge of unlawful possession of a firearm,” said Budhram.

Contacted by The Witness yesterday, Dirks said that he was shocked about the arrest of one of his bodyguards.

He said that he learnt of the arrest through the bodyguard’s wife.

“I don’t know what to say at this point. I will have to get the full story and after that I can comment. But as far as I am concerned he is a church guy. As far as I know he is a born-again Christian who doesn’t drink or smoke,” added Dirks.

Municipal manager Rob Haswell said the municipality will allow the police investigations to take their course, after which disciplinary measures could be instituted.

thandom@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.