Kessie Nair might pit communities against each other if bail is granted - court hears

Kessie Nair at the Verulam Family Court (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24, file)
Kessie Nair at the Verulam Family Court (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24, file)

Kessie Nair might attempt to influence or intimidate communities into acting against each other if released on bail, the Verulam Family Court heard on Tuesday.

Nair, a former Durban councillor and convicted fraudster, is charged with six counts of crimen injuria and two of incitement of public violence after he posted a video on Facebook calling President Cyril Ramaphosa the k-word.

In an affidavit opposing bail, investigating officer Warrant Officer Ajay Lutchnan also stated that Nair was familiar with the identities of witnesses and the evidence they may give against him.

READ: 'Forgive me' - Kessie Nair apologises to Ramaphosa, public for k-word slur

"The case against the applicant is strong. He is linked to the scene of crime. There is a likelihood that if released on bail he would endanger the lives of complainants," said Lutchnan in an affidavit read out in court by prosecutor Carlson Govender.

Lutchnan said Nair's release would undermine public order and might lead to public disorder.

He said Nair used a cellphone to record the "derogatory video" he posted on Facebook.

Series of convictions

"He posted the video by himself using his cellphone. The video is of [such] serious nature that the public has threatened to assault him," said Lutchnan.

He also revealed that Nair had a pending case of money laundering and that Nair's brother, Ravi, had indicated that he didn't want him back at his house.

"He has no assets and fixed place of residence. He has no fixed address," said Lutchnan.

In his affidavit, Nair said he had no pending charges against him.

He confirmed a series of charges he has been convicted for since 1989, including charges of fraud, theft, reckless and negligent driving and driving a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.

In the affidavit read out in court by his lawyer Chris Gounden, Nair said he had no intentions to interfere with State witnesses.

He said he would not endanger State witnesses if released on bail.

Poor health

Nair said he lived in Phoenix with his brother and family and was unemployed.

He told the court he had a major heart attack in 2016 and his heart now only operated at 29%. He is on chronic medication and he would deny the charges against him, the court heard.

"I have no funds available for bail and have not spoken to my family about it," said Nair, who asked to be released on warning.

He also submitted that he was about to turn 60 and that his health would deteriorate if he was not released on bail.

READ: Kessie Nair's brother testifies: 'I noticed changes in his mental state'

After an adjournment of about an hour and a half, Gounden said he needed more time to prepare affidavits in response to the State's affidavit opposing the bail.

He said it had only come to light on Tuesday afternoon that Nair's brother Ravi no longer wanted to live with Nair anymore.

He said Nair had to contact certain people to arrange alternative accommodation.

Magistrate Ncumisa Gcolotela, who had earlier ruled that Nair must be sent to Fort Napier Hospital for mental evaluation, postponed the case to October 9 for further evidence to be presented in the bail application.

Nair remains in custody at Westville prison.

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