Panday, Madhoe get bail

2011-10-05 00:00

LOUD applause from their supporters had to be muted by the court orderly yesterday when magistrate Thomas Nhleko released fraud accused Navin Madhoe and Thoshan Panday on bail.

The suspense was tangible as the packed courtroom anticipated the outcome of a dragging bail application. Panday has spent a week-and-a-half behind bars while his co-accused was incarcerated for just over three weeks.

Panday was released on R100 000 bail and Madhoe on R40 000.

In his ruling Nhleko said previous charges have no bearing on the current charges and that the two are not a threat to key witnesses, all of whom are senior policemen, or likely to interfere with the investigation.

The state strongly opposed the bail application, offering reasons that included the notion that Panday had put out a contract to kill the head of the Hawks, General Johan Booysen, who is also the main witness and complainant in the matter.

Panday’s arrest follows a dormant, year-long investigation, which was brought back to life when supply-chain management police officer Madhoe allegedly attempted to bribe Booysen to backdate a document, allegedly on Panday’s instructions.

Panday is implicated in a R60 million police accommodation tender and was arrested at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport on his return from Zambia, where he was reportedly doing business.

Last year he allegedly organised and paid for a birthday party, to the tune of R21 000, for Brigadier Lucas Ngobeni, the husband of KwaZulu-Natal police chief Lieutenant-General Mamunye Ngobeni.

Madhoe, meanwhile, was arrested moments after he allegedly placed a suitcase containing almost R1,3 million in Booysen’s car more recently. A further R700 000 was allegedly to be paid later. The funds were apparently made available by Panday.

Yesterday the defence team relied heavily on a previous case involving Booysen and another fraud accused, policeman Sagren Govender.

Said lawyer Jimmy Howse, “In the mentioned matter Booysen accused Govender of plotting to assassinate him, and even went as far as claiming an informant spoke to him in the presence of other officers. Not only is Booysen alive today, but the case was withdrawn entirely.”

The case was postponed to November 29.

sewchurran@witness.co.za

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