Bantham and Panday clash

2020-03-04 14:30
Brigadier Francis Bantham.

Brigadier Francis Bantham.

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Convicted fraudster Visham Panday was dealt a blow on Tuesday by the Pietermaritzburg high court when he failed to stifle investigations against him.

Acting Judge Rose Mogwera refused to grant him an interdict preventing the former Mountain Rise police station commander, Brigadier Francis Bantham, from opening “false charges” against Panday and intimidating him.

At the heart of this matter is a photograph of Bantham and some people which Panday posted on a chat group they both belonged to. Panday claims it was posted “by error”.

However, Bantham charged him with intimidation. She said in court papers that “the posting of my picture on a chat group opens me up for great harm as it could be done for the purpose of inciting members of that chat group to act violently against me or my family member”.

The judge said the court papers paint a picture of Panday complaining to everyone he can about Bantham.

“Is it not just a question of the two of them having their own issues which are unresolved?”

She said Panday is trying to stop Bantham from interfering with his rights, but it would appear this has already happened. Charges of intimidation have been laid by Bantham.

Visham Panday.

“What use will the interdict be for him? To halt that process would amount to interference. I don’t think the interdict can be a remedy,” she said.

Judge Mogwera added that laying false charges would render Bantham liable for damages.

She said Panday could lay a complaint which could be investigated by the Hawks. Judge Mogwera said she was not inclined to grant costs. She was unhappy with the “generalised” responses in Bantham’s court papers to the allegations made about her by Panday.

“I see pertinent points raised which are not responded to adequately.”

In court papers, Panday said his problems with Bantham began when he was involved in a dispute with Dr Navind Dayanand of Daymed Hospital. He claims the doctor bought gold coins from him but refused to pay the full price, so he charged him.

Bantham, he alleges, contacted him in April 2018 and told him to leave the doctor alone or she would fabricate criminal cases against him — which she vehemently denies.

Panday said, “She said that if I do not pay her R600 000 she will cut my tongue out”, and if he reported her to the Hawks she would “put a bullet through my head”.

Of this Bantham said she is a long standing member of the SAPS and would not risk all her hard work for a “measly few hundred thousand rands”.

Also that month, Panday said a “Yusuf Haffajee” told him that he needed to pay R600 000 for certain investigations to be quashed against him. If he didn’t, Haffajee said Bantham would cut off his tongue.

Panday said he opened a case against Bantham, who said in her reply that this “demonstrates a hardened effort by the applicant (Panday) to do anything in his powers to derail and delay the investigations against him by members of the police service”.

Panday said that despite him charging her, Bantham continued to threaten and harass him, “to the extent of attempting to have me arrested on false charges”. He said he wrote to the SAPS to stop the intimidation but it continued. This led him to launching an application in the high court to interdict and restrain Bantham and four others from harassing or threatening him. The matter is still pending, he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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