EFF dig into Panday

2015-10-21 10:02
Thoshan Panday (City Press)

Thoshan Panday (City Press)

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Pietermaritzburg - The comrades in red overalls have taken the first steps in trying to secure a private prosecution of Durban businessman Thoshan Panday.

Ahead of a press conference to be held tomorrow, The Witness can reveal that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) KZN MPL Vukani Ndlovu sent a letter of appeal to KZN Director of Public Prosecutions Moipone Noko insisting on a nolle prosequi certificate in respect of all criminal charges against Panday that the state has previously declined to prosecute.

Ndlovu confirmed the letter had been sent, but was unavailable for further comment.

In order to institute a private prosecution, the party first needs to obtain the certificate — which is a formal notice of abandonment by the prosecutor of all or part of a suit — before they can pursue their own prosecution.

According to the letter, the EFF asked Noko for a list containing all cases against Panday that Noko declined to prosecute.

The party then gave Noko until October 31 to present the certificate.

The Witness accompanied EFF member Dumisani Shelembe to the ­Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday, where Shelembe enquired with Noko’s office if the request was being attended to.

Although a secretary did confirm the matter was being dealt with, and provided a reference number which The Witness has in its possession, when Noko was called by the journalist yesterday, she said she was unaware of the EFF’s request.

“This is the first I am hearing of it,” Noko said before diverting The Witness’s query to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson was also unable to comment on the query, diverting The Witness back to Noko’s office.

Panday’s legal adviser Feroza Aziz yesterday said any legal steps taken against him will be “vigorously defended”.

“[Panday] does not propose to enter into any debates at this stage. Any legal steps taken by any legal entity against Mr Panday will be vigorously defended. Our legal team are briefed to defend any actions taken against [Panday],” Aziz said.

“In her nolle prosequi decision, the state advocate [Noko] stated quite emphatically that as a representative of the state, she could not go to court with dirty hands. She did not want to be seen as condoning improper investigative techniques,” Aziz said, referring to the NPA’s decision to drop charges against Panday.

“This, in itself is quite telling of the state’s case, if indeed any.”

Panday has been in the media spotlight since he allegedly inflated hotel room prices for police guests during the 2010 World Cup to the tune of R60 million.

Panday also faced allegations of trying to bribe top police officials like Hawks boss Major-General Johan ­Booysen and KZN provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  eff

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