Prominent figures attend memorial as mourners praise Nayager, slam ‘unfair media coverage’

2012-01-28 00:00

HUNDREDS of people — many of them police officers — paid their last respects to controversial former Sydenham police station commander Glen Nayager yesterday afternoon.

After a service in Chatsworth, where Nayager had resided, his body was transported to the Clare Estate Crematorium Hall for a second service, where it was later cremated.

A group of uniformed police officers carried the coffin — draped in an SAPF flag — into the hall, where several people including Nayager’s lawyer Anand-Nepaul, former provincial police commissioner Hamilton Ngidi as well as Nayager’s 18-year-old daughter addressed mourners.

Among the mourners, Narend Singh of the IFP, MP Kamal Panday, Brigadier Aaron Harry, Head of Crime Prevention in KZN, and former chief inspector of Metro Police, Paddy Gaffney, were seen paying their last respects.

Nicknamed “Rambo” by his colleagues, Nayager was found not guilty of defeating the ends of justice and fraud early last year. He died in hospital on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack during an arbitration hearing in which he had been trying to clear his name of sexual harassment charges.

Nepaul said in his speech: “We were dealing with a person who was not prepared to accept wrong and who wanted to fight for justice, and ultimately this cost him his life.”

Kwenza Nxele provincial secretary of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) told Weekend Witness that union members were very disappointed by media coverage of Nayager’s death: “What was reflected in the media on the day he died was not at all representative …” he said. “They carried incorrect information about him.”

A police officer who did not want to be named said that he believed “ninety-five” percent of the allegations made against Nayager were untrue.

“I worked under him for ten years. He was a very good crime fighter.”

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