Singh denies he has a vendetta

2008-10-14 00:00

Pietermaritzburg magistrate Ashin Singh, under cross- examination in a civil case in which he is suing the Justice Ministry for R2,8 million for malicious prosecution, denied yesterday that he is pursuing a “vendetta”.

He also denied an allegation put to him by defence counsel Chris Marnewick SC that his conduct is “vexatious, vindictive and malicious”, or that he lied.

Singh was warned by Judge Sharmaine Balton to refrain from personal attacks on members of the legal team. This followed a remark by Singh relating to Marnewick’s salary.

Singh apologised unreservedly for the remark.

Balton also warned Singh against “making speeches”.

Singh’s case is based on allegations that he was wrongly dismissed from the Investigating Directorate of Organised Crime (IDOC), to which he had been seconded in 1999, and subsequently prosecuted.

He alleges his former IDOC boss, Chris MacAdam, “wrongfully and maliciously caused the law to be set in motion against him”.

Singh was seconded to IDOC by the minister of Justice in 1999, but was fired on November 29 the same year, allegedly on the orders of then director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka. He was arrested and criminally charged in 2000 on multiple charges. In September 2003 he won a permanent stay of prosecution.

Singh alleges that his dismissal arose from the fact that he had obtained information from an informer (who has since been killed), which showed that the IDOC arrested the “wrong” people for what was termed the “Ndabezitha” massacre of 11 women and children in Richmond.

The victims were alleged to have been slain in reaction to the murder of prominent political leader Sifiso Nkabinde.

The IDOC had already publicly announced the arrests of four SANDF soldiers and Singh claims his information was “ignored”, but later proved to be correct.

He admitted he is “angry” with MacAdam.

He denied having publicised “confidential” information in connection with a tape recording later aired on TV in which MacAdam allegedly referred to two KZN policemen facing criminal charges as “dirty, rotten bastards”.

Singh said the conversation was openly taped in MacAdam’s office, and the tape belonged to Singh.

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