Badul granted R5?000 bail

2010-02-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG high court Judge Jerome Mnguni yesterday granted former Mountain Rise police station commissioner Harriram Badul (60) bail of R5 000 on various conditions.

The conditions are that Badul may not interfere with an investigation against him, which is said to involve alleged fraud and theft of state property totalling at least R467 000, as well as possible charges of corruption and racketeering.

He may also not communicate with any state witnesses.

Mnguni’s ruling overturns an earlier decision by regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren, who refused Badul bail on the grounds that there is a likelihood that Badul would interfere with state witnesses in the case.

In his judgment yesterday, however, Mnguni said the regional magistrate did not give sufficient weight to Badul’s health. He also referred to the Constitution, which states that every person who is arrested has a right to be released on bail if the interests of justice permit.

The judge said that, having considered all the factors relating to Badul’s case, he believes he is entitled to bail.

According to the evidence led in the bail hearing, Badul was hospitalised immediately after his arrest on December 4, and before the completion of his bail application had to undergo surgery for a tumour attached to his heart. He underwent two operations at St Anne’s hospital.

In his evidence at the bail hearing he denied the allegations against him and said all items seized by police on his farm belong to him.

He also denied an allegation that he tried to influence a witness not to co-operate with the police, but said he advised the man — who is alleged to have forged Badul’s signature on documents — to see an attorney.

Meanwhile, the high court in Pietermaritzburg is expected to rule today in a dispute between Badul and the SAPS medical aid scheme, Polmed, over its refusal to pay his medical claims while he was suspended.

It will also rule on the legality of Badul’s dismissal by provincial police commissioner Betty Ngobeni two days before he retired from the SAPS on January 31.

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