'They pointed a gun at my son’

2012-06-22 00:00

THE seven-year-old son of arrested cop Ajith Ghaness hid in a corner when armed policemen stormed their Newlands West,Durban, home early on Wednesday morning.

Crying hysterically, Akshay had to be comforted by his mother Rekha, who hid him behind her while police stormed their home and cordoned it off. Unable to sleep since the incident, Akshay was sent to stay with his grandparents while his mother tries to secure his father’s release on bail.

“This is just unbelievable. Ajith left home early on Wednesday morning to join his colleagues at their offices, waiting to be arrested. At about 5.30am, we heard banging on our roof, doors and windows. I was so scared and Akshay started crying uncontrollably. I had to calm him down while the heavily armed policemen ordered me to open the door. I opened the door but refused to open the gate. They snatched my phone out of my hand and asked me where Ajith was.

“Through the gate they pointed a firearm at me and held a gun to Akshay’s head. I feared the worst when Akshay ran away out of fear into one of the rooms and hid in a corner. Our son is traumatised. There really was no need to point a firearm at a seven-year-old,” Ghaness said at court yesterday.

She said that although she had told the police that Ajith was not home, they remained on the property and refused access to anyone else.

When her brother-in-law, Vikesh Hemraj, arrived to take Akshay to school, he too was confronted by the police, who he claims roughed him up.

“I identified myself as soon as I got to the house and said I was there to take the boy to school. The police were not interested. They pushed me around, searched me and pushed me so hard I hurt my shoulder. That was uncalled for. When Akshay came out of the house they held a gun to his head all the way from the door to the car,” he said.

With tears running down her cheeks, Ghaness said she felt cheated that her husband, who has spent many hours fighting crime, was being treated like a criminal.

“I never thought I would see the day when Ajith was behind bars. If he spent two days a week with us, we were lucky. If he left home at 5.30am, he was only coming back at 11am the next day. I spent countless hours lying awake at night, worrying for his safety while he was out there apprehending suspects and ensuring that justice was served,” said Ghaness.

Waiting outside Durban Central police station for a second night was Charlene Eva, wife of Captain Neville Eva, who testified yesterday on behalf of his implicated colleagues in their bail application.

Eva has been off work since January. He told the court his heart was only functioning at 30% of its capacity.

Charlene said Eva’s condition was terminal and he needed special drugs to keep him alive for as long as possible.

“He is not going to get better; he is going to die,” she said, weeping quietly, with a change of clothes for her husband resting on her lap.

She said that despite the serious charges against him — which include murder — and his ill health, Eva was determined to have his day in court.

In December 2009, Eva was struck by a virus that attacked his heart and led to kidney failure.

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