Badul avoids the cells

2009-12-07 00:00

FORMER Mountain Rise police station commander director Harirram Badul is at a private hospital in the city, despite his arrest on Friday in connection with the disappearance of government property.

Badul and three other police officers and a local businessman are expected to appear in the Pieter­maritz­burg Magistrate’s Court soon, to face charges of fraud and corruption.

They were arrested on Friday following an investigation into the disappearance of state property at Mountain Rise.

On Friday, The Witness asked KZN police commissioner Monnye Ngobeni about the whereabouts of the arrested suspects and she said they were in police custody, but yesterday SAPS spokeswoman director Phindile Radebe could not confirm the whereabouts of Badul, although she confirmed that he was sick. Detainees who require medical attention and have to be admitted to hospital are placed under police guard.

Well-placed sources told The Witness that he was admitted to a private hospital on Friday. The nature of his illness is not clear.

Badul’s career is marred with scandal and controversy, at least since 1989, but he has managed to climb the ladder and was described as “invincible” by colleagues.

His first appointment as Mountain Rise station commander on December 31,1989, followed a spell at Durban’s Greenwood Park. In December 1995, Badul was transferred to Loop Street as station commander.

In 1996, he faced charges of theft and fraud, related to incidents in 1993 while he was at Mountain Rise. Exhibits reco­vered in theft cases were found at Loop Street station after they were supposed to have been destroyed, according to law. A microwave, radio, video machine and lawnmower were found at the station.

Warrants of arrest were issued against Badul and three captains at Loop Street at the time, but they were not arrested after their attorney intervened.

An odd item that was not destroyed, as it should have been, was an elephant’s foot. Badul claimed that a police officer took it out of the bin full of goods for destruction. The foot was apparently found in the officer’s lounge and was later returned.

In 1997, the then national commissioner, George Fivaz, called for an inquiry to investigate whether charges of fraud should be instituted against Badul.

After serving for about two years at Loop Street, Badul was appointed Midlands area commissioner.

In 2005, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) probed Badul, together with the then Midlands area commissioner, Tyrone Davis, head of logistics at Loop Street, Yunus Khan, and Ricardo Rajah for different allegations.

It was alleged that they sometimes used state funds to renovate their own and girlfriend’s houses and demanded kickbacks (alcohol or cash) from contractors. Badul and other officers were also implicated in a scam that defrauded the state of about R100 000 between 2002 and 2004.

During a restructuring pro­cess in 2007, Badul was redeployed to Mountain Rise as station commissioner.

The 2007/2008 crime statistics scandal served as the catalyst to Friday’s arrests. Suspended Mountain Rise policeman, Inspector Craig Josiah, reported to the ICD that cases where not being included in the case management system, causing a misleading reduction in the station’s crime statistics.

He fingered Badul as being behind the scheme. The investigation uncovered that the station failed to include 147 crimes in its statistics report, while it was suspected that 253 dossiers were not registered on the SAPS central database.

On Friday, Commissioner Ngobeni said the arrests were the tip of an iceberg. She said Badul and others could face more charges. It is not clear whether the arrest is related to previous investigations.

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