Local attorney punched in Pietermaritzburg

2016-02-01 13:44
CCTV footage shows attorney Renen Padayachee (left) being approached by two men at his car just before a punch was thrown at him. Anyone who can identify either of the men is asked to contact Padayachee at 081?713?6222.

CCTV footage shows attorney Renen Padayachee (left) being approached by two men at his car just before a punch was thrown at him. Anyone who can identify either of the men is asked to contact Padayachee at 081?713?6222. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Well-known Pietermaritzburg attorney Renen Padayachee and a local panel beater Bevan Clayton have been ordered by a judge to stay away from one another.

The order was granted by Judge Daya Pillay on Friday.

It follows an incident on January 22, when Padayachee was confronted by two “suspicious men”, one of whom “threw a punch” at him just after he left court in connection with an application by him to sequestrate Clayton, owner of Hailbusters Paintless Dent Removal.

Padayachee alleges Clayton owes him R1,6 million, and says in court papers he suspects that Clayton “orchestrated” the confrontation after the case.

In turn the court heard that Clayton had accused Padayachee of “harassing” him and sending him SMSs.

Padayachee confirmed that he sent Clayton an SMS after the confrontation at his car, stating: “Nice try Bev. Next time send more people. Maybe that will help.”

After attempts to settle the dispute failed, Judge Pillay granted an interim order restraining Clayton, or anyone acting for him, from “assaulting, attempting to assault or in any way harassing and/or communicating” with Padayachee. The order also interdicts Clayton from coming within 100 metres of Padayachee’s residence, or his offices.

The judge in turn also interdicted Padayachee (or anyone acting for him) from “harassing or communicating” with Clayton.

The court order would remain in place until it was either “confirmed or discharged”, and the matter was adjourned indefinitely.

In an affidavit in support of Friday’s urgent application, Padayachee said that he had known Clayton for many years and they were friends. “There has been a substantial deterioration in our relationship in the past few months, so much so that I now fear for my personal safety at the hands of the respondent [Clayton],” he alleged.

Padayachee said because Clayton owes him a substantial amount of money, he had brought an application for his sequestration, which Clayton was opposing.

The case came before court and was adjourned on January 22.

After court, he walked to his car, which was parked in Church Street, accompanied by a Durban attorney, Bilal Malani, and an advocate (who was not named).

“As I approached the driver’s door, I was confronted by two coloured males, unknown to me. I immediately became suspicious of their motives because of the manner of their approach and by what they were saying,” he said.

According to Padayachee, one man said: “So where is the money? Where is the money now?”

Because he “immediately suspected” Clayton of orchestrating the confrontation, he asked the men, “Did Bevan send you?”, to which one man replied, “You should know. You should know.”

“I understood that to mean an affirmation that the respondent [Clayton] had sent them,” said Padayachee.

“Immediately thereafter he assaulted me by throwing a punch at me. I was able to ward off the blow directed at my face. My two colleagues, who heard the conversation and witnessed the assault, immediately jumped out of the car to come to my assistance.”

Padayachee said the attackers fled and escaped through the taxi rank across from the high court. “I was shocked and visibly shaken by the assault and, having regard to what they had said, I believe the respondent had orchestrated this assault,” he said.

Padayachee said he reported the assault to Clayton’s lawyer and opened a case with the police. He also obtained a video clip from the Msunduzi Municipality’s Camera Surveillance Unit, showing the two men who approached him at his car. Copies of stills from the footage were forwarded to the police and attached to the court papers.

Padayachee alleges in his affidavit that this was not the first time Clayton had “reacted violently against people he has problems with”, and said he feared for his safety. “The respondent [Clayton] had, in fact on December 21, 2015, threatened to f**k me up … This was at a time when I had confronted the respondent about the monies he owed me and his lies [about] when same would be paid,” he said.

Padayachee alleged Clayton is currently charged with an assault on an ex-employee, Wilton Manning, and was charged criminally on December 7, 2015, for breaching a domestic violence interdict which had been obtained in September by his ex-girlfriend Jena-Lee Brauns.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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