Accused ex-lawyer in court

2014-10-03 00:00

DISGRACED lawyer Sundeep Singh appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where his lawyers fought tooth and nail to keep him out of prison.

Singh is facing charges of theft. He was struck off the roll of attorneys in April in connection with an allegation that he stole R876 736,50 from widow Radha Govender, who was due to receive the money from the Road Accident Fund.

Singh was arrested on September 23 and transferred to the Midlands Private Hospital that evening after complaining of chest pains.

The frail-looking Singh was given an hour to appear in court by his doctor and was supposed to be back at the hospital by 10.30 am.

However, he was still in court at 4 pm as the defence and prosecution battled.

The crux of the matter was whether Singh should remain in the private hospital, where he has been under police guard, or be taken to prison hospital. And who would be responsible for guarding him.

Dr Y. Mahomed, his physician for the past two years, said the Midlands Hospital was better equipped to look after him than the prison facility.

Singh, apparently wearing a heart monitoring device, looked slightly dis­orientated during the proceedings.

Mahomed said the former lawyer had a medical condition that made him susceptible to heart attacks. “I do not know the facilities of the prison … my practice is in East Street and if anything happened, I am not sure how long it will take me to get there [the prison],” he said.

Magistrate Helgaard Fobian said a request of this nature — where a court was asked to order that someone under arrest should remain in a private hospital — was new to him. He said the court could not make such a determination.

In the end, the parties agreed, after consulting with the police, that Singh would be taken to a police station and from there back to the private hospital.

The police only agreed to the deal after the magistrate endorsed it.

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