Witness tells of cash for Badul

2013-06-12 00:00

THREE payments by the SA Police Service into the business account of a former general labourer at Mountain Rise police station in 2009 were withdrawn as cash and were allegedly destined for the pocket of then station commander Hariram Badul.

This evidence was given before Judge Rashid Vahed and two assessors in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday by former labourer cum businessman Msingaphansi France Bhengu, who was a shareholder in Umnotho Wezwe Trading Enterprise CC and Mabhengwana Trading Enterprise CC.

Bhengu testified that he was in charge of the garden at the Mountain Rise police station under Badul’s command, but ran his businesses simultaneously.

These offered gardening services, renovation of houses, tiling, carpentry and other services. They also supplied building materials.

Bhengu is testifying for the state as an accomplice in the trial in which Badul and his co-accused, Captain Suresh Naraindath, Lieutenant-Colonel Yunus Khan, ex-constable Patrick Nkabini and civilian Sigamoney Pillay are facing charges including racketeering, fraud, theft and money laundering. If he is found to have given honest evidence, he will be given indemnity from prosecution.

Bhengu told the court about three payments for R29 990, R16 965 and R12  730 into Umnotho Wezwe’s bank account by the SAPS. He said he had been told by his friend and colleague, Mountain Rise policeman Stanley Naidoo, that the money belonged to “the larney”, the name by which Badul was known. On each occasion the money was received, he got a call from Naraindath instructing him to draw the cash and bring it to the police station.

He and fellow shareholder Thami Shezi — a co-signatory to the account — had drawn the cash and paid it over to Naidoo to pass on to Badul.

Bhengu said Badul was never present when the money was paid over, nor had he discussed the payments with the director personally.

Bhengu also told the court that Badul had assisted him in arranging jobs at the SAPS for three of his relatives — his younger brother Sizwe, nephew Hlanganani and his married sister, Zanele Mjwara.

He said Badul initially said he could help only two of his relatives, and that it would cost him R10 000 per person. It was subsequently agreed that he would pay him R15 000 plus a cow in exchange for assisting with employment for Sizwe and Hlanganani.

“I gave him R15 000 cash and then he took this cow, Nyamazane, from home to the farm,” he said.

Badul also helped secure work for Mjwara after Naidoo agreed to pretend she was the daughter of his domestic worker, he said.

Bhengu said that there was “a lot of stealing” at the police station while he was based there and that he personally had also stolen goods such as fuel, toilet paper, steel wool, and air freshener.

He told the court at times he had transported goods that arrived at the police station to Badul’s farm on the latter’s instructions.

Bhengu said he’d been “dismayed” when he was visited in hospital by Naidoo, Naraindath and Pillay after the investigation into irregularities at Mountain Rise started. They’d told him that if the investigators inquired, he should confirm that Umnotho Wezwe had supplied and delivered certain television sets to the police station. He said in fact Umnotho Wezwe never supplied any TVs to the police station.

The case is continuing.

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