State to oppose bail for hospitalised station commissioner

2009-12-08 00:00

THE state is set to oppose the granting of bail to former Mountain Rise police station commissioner Harriram Badul, who was yesterday still in hospital reportedly suffering from angina.

The state was not, however, opposed to the release on bail of four of Badul’s co-accused, who currently face a provisional charge of theft.

Two senior policemen, Superintendent Yunus Khan (44) and Captain Suresh Naraindath (44), were each granted R10 000 bail by regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren.

Constable Patrick Nkabini, who has 16 years’ service and who testified that he has been suspended from the police force pending the outcome of the case, as well as general maintenance contractor and Northdale fish shop owner Sigamoney Pillay, were each granted bail of R3 000.

All four accused gave brief testimony detailing their personal circumstances, but did not touch on the merits of the allegations facing them.

Naraindath said he will plead not guilty. He said he has 20 years’ service with the SAPS.

Khan testified that he joined the police force in 1985.

Bail was granted on condition that all four men appear regularly in court when required, surrender their travel documents and report weekly at a police station.

State advocate Wendy Greef said a sixth accused, SAPS administration clerk Edward Isaac (who was based at Loop Street police station), appeared in court last week and will be joined to the charge sheet at the next appearance of all six, on December 15.

A warrant of arrest was authorised for Badul as he was absent from court, but was stayed until the next court date.

Greef said she has been provided with a medical certificate and was satisfied he was in hospital.

Greef told Van Vuuren the state does not yet have a final charge sheet and the present one is “very provisional”.

She said currently the charge is one of theft of government property totalling R100 000, but investigators have informed her that the final amount will run to about R1 million.

“There is also a possibility that the state will add charges of fraud, corruption and even racketeering,” she said.

Badul and his co-accused were arrested on Friday by the Hawks police unit. Journalists were told by KZN Commissioner Mamunye Ngobeni that investigators probing alleged fixing of the Mountain Rise station’s crime statistics stumbled upon other irregularities, discovering that equipment was missing from the station.

It is believed that computers and television sets were seized from the houses of the arrested police officers. Ngobeni confirmed that the property includes IT equipment.

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