Court man ‘caught in act’

2015-07-29 10:47


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PIETERMARITZBURG high court manager Bhekumuzi Ronald Mtshali (48) appeared in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged with stealing a car part off a luxury car in the Liberty Mall parking lot.

Mtshali made a brief lunch-hour appearance before magistrate M. Singh yesterday charged with theft of a “tow eye cover” from a BMW belonging to local police detective Rajeev Soorajbally on Saturday, July 25.

The alleged theft was captured on CCTV footage — which The Witness has viewed — resulting in Mtshali’s arrest on Monday night.

His vehicle which is seen on the footage, appears almost identical to Soorajbally’s other than being in a lighter colour.

Mtshali, who was not represented by an attorney, was released on bail of R500 yesterday pending his next court appearance on July 31.

It was recorded that he might plead to the charge on that day.

Soorajbally was not able to comment about the incident when contacted yesterday as the matter is before court.

However, a family member told The Witness she was shocked to learn that the theft was allegedly perpetrated by a man of Mtshali’s stature.

“I almost fell off my chair,” she said.

The family was full of praise for security at the mall, saying their response to the report of the theft was immediate and efficient, and there is very good CCTV coverage throughout the mall so criminals should beware.

It is alleged that Soorajbally entered the mall at 12.15 pm on Saturday to drop his son at a birthday party. He then spent an hour shopping with his other son before returning to his car — a 2012 model, E92, dark metallic grey BMW 3 series.

The Witness was told Soorajbally is fussy about his car and prone to check it for trolley dents or people bumping into it when opening their own car doors. He immediately noticed that the colour-coded “tow flap” on his front bumper was missing.

The flap covers a hole through which a tow rope can fit if the vehicle is towed. The cost of the part is estimated at between R600 and R1 000.

Soorajbally immediately reported the matter to the mall security and opened a case.

The Witness was told the missing tow flap was recovered by investigators and returned to Soorajbally.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  theft

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