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Pretoria - Chaos broke out late on Tuesday at the Pretoria High Court when two prominent Laudium businessmen – one the brother of Prime Media head of news and Crime Line boss Yusuf Abramjee – became embroiled in an altercation inside a court room. Police had to be called to intervene.
Ismail Abramjee was taken to hospital. His other brother, Haroon Abramjee, said he had been badly assaulted. Tests were being done as it was suspected he had suffered internal bleeding and head injuries, he said.
The incident occurred minutes after Judge Bert Bam adjourned the court. He was hearing an application in which Seculo Printers is claiming millions from the owner of Laudium Sun and other publications, Nazeer Noormohamed.
The case pertains to printing costs for the newspapers, more particularly the Tshwane Sun. Noormohamed defended the matter on the basis that he was not the debtor. He argued his business entities should have been summonsed by Seculo Printers.
Judge Bam reserved judgment until next week. Ishmail and Noormohamed were both in court.
Haroon said his brother was attacked after most people had left the courtroom and while Ismail was speaking to reporters.
“A group led by Nazeer Noormohamed stormed and attacked Ismail. They severely assaulted him. One stole his cellphone. Noormohamed fled down the stairs, while Ismail screamed for help. Court security arrested three of them,” Haroon said.
Speaking from hospital on Tuesday night , Haroon said his brother was “in a bad shape”. For security reasons he did not want to divulge the name of the hospital and said they had employed guards to protect his brother.
Noormohamed said Ismail had attacked him and that he had punched back in an attempt to defend himself. “I went up to him as he spoke to reporters and asked him on whose behalf he was making statements. I asked why he was there, as he had nothing to do with the matter. He became abusive and punched me. I went for him. I couldn’t just stand there.
“I hardly hit him, but he screamed for help. People came running in to stop the fight. I walked out as I did not want anything further to do with this. I went to the police station to lay a charge of assault. Ismail and his group also came to the police station. I asked the police to check if he had injuries, but they said he did not.”
Pretoria Central police spokeswoman Sergeant Ann Portman confirmed that both parties had laid assault charges. She said no arrests had been made.