Scripture verse inspired Badul case witness to come clean

2012-08-23 00:00

AN SMS from his pastor advising him to read a certain verse in the Bible made former Mountain Rise policeman Stanley Naidoo decide to “tell investigators everything” about irregularities going on at the station, the high court in Pietermaritzburg heard yesterday.

Naidoo, a former inspector in the supply chain management office at Mountain Rise, is testifying for the prosecution against ex-Mountain Rise station commissioner Hariram Badul, Captain Suresh Naraindath, Lieutenant-Colonel Yunus Khan, former Constable Patrick Nkabini and businessman Sigamoney Pillay.

They face multiple charges of racketeering, corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering.

He told the court that soon after he began co-operating with investigators, he asked that he and his family be placed in a witness protection programme because he feared for his life. They have been in witness protection since December 2009.

“I had to sell my house. It set us back and affected my little ones and my wife.

“By the grace of God we survive and we are taking each day at a time,” he said.

What had prompted the request for protection was that his daughter told him she had noticed two men opposite his house and one night he returned home to find cars in his driveway “revving and flashing their lights”.

“I was very much afraid for my life … I can recall an incident in Director Badul’s office not long before this, at the time that there was a whistleblower whose name was Josiah,” he said.

He was in Badul’s office when a call came through from a policeman who asked Badul if he should “make Josiah sleep”.

Naidoo said that at first he avoided questions by the investigators and obtained the services of attorneys, one of whom was provided for him by Badul.

He told the court about meetings that took place at Badul’s house, some of which were also attended by Naraindath and Khan, and alleged that Badul told him “not to make any statements to investigators”.

Naidoo described an occasion at Badul’s house when he looked “worried and scared” and Naraindath advised him not to worry.

“The director told him, ‘I am not worried about you. I know you are strong. I’m worried about the lightie [referring to Naidoo]’.

“I then told him, ‘Director, I am also strong’ … I shook his hand and said ‘I won’t drop you, sir’,” Naidoo testified.

The next morning, Naidoo said, he received an SMS from his pastor advising him to read a certain verse in the Bible. He did, and afterwards he felt “different”. He then decided to tell the investigators “everything”.

Naidoo said he had known the scams he had taken part in at the police station were wrong, but he had had no choice but to go along with it because Badul was a “powerful” man whom he feared.

During his evidence yesterday, Naidoo admitted that he’d had an affair with a woman working in his department at Mountain Rise, but said it had nothing to do with the events he testified about.

He drew a laugh from the gallery as he testified that at the time there was “dirty talk” in the offices due to Naraindath being around. It became “contagious”, he said.

Naidoo’s cross-examination is expected to start today.

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