Would Singh really flee the country?

2014-10-10 00:00

FEARS that theft accused Sundeep Singh will flee the country if given bail were belied by the fact that the investigating officer only took him up on his offer to hand over his passport last week.

This was said by defence advocate Martin Krog while cross-examining Constable Simphiwe Faye yesterday. Faye is opposing bail for Singh, who is charged with the theft of R876 736 in trust funds from a Road Accident Fund client, Radha Govender.

He agreed he’d declined an offer to take possession of Singh’s passport when he arrested him on September 23, and only seized it last week.

He also revealed yesterday that the Attorneys Fidelity Fund is looking into other claims against Singh that could total R4 million, and said he “might” face more charges.

Faye said he believes Singh will flee to India if released, like he did in 1994 while under investigation for a similar crime of theft of R250 000. He returned only after his lawyers made a “deal” with the prosecutor in the case, he said.

But Krog said this wasn’t true because Singh wasn’t even charged when he left. At the time he was being investigated by the law society only and not the police.

Krog said Singh got bail on his return, before pleading guilty.

He and Faye were in constant disagreement yesterday, with Krog repeatedly urging the policeman to “stop explaining and answer yes or no” to questions. Once he suggested to Faye he was being “evasive” about answering questions and appeared to have his own “hidden agenda”.

Faye said although he currently holds Singh’s passport, he believes he will flee to India if he is released because he has no assets here. He said two properties — Singh’s Orient Heights home and offices in George Street — are registered in his wife’s name. Faye added he suspects that Singh might have dual South African/Indian citizenship, but immigration officials in Durban failed twice to help him verify this.

Krog said Singh denies holding dual citizenship and asked Faye what makes him think he does. “Is it just because he is Indian?” he asked.

Faye said it was because Singh previously fled to India and he frequently travelled there.

The magistrate instructed Faye to find out if Singh does have dual citizenship, and to return to court with that information when the case resumes next Tuesday.

Singh meanwhile will remain at Midlands Hospital, where he was admitted for a heart condition.

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