Mountain Rise police fraud case nears endComment on this story
After a two-year marathon trial, the case involving the former commander of the Mountain Rise police station, Hariram Badul, and four others, is drawing to an end with closing arguments starting on Monday.
Badul stood in the dock of the Pietermaritzburg High Court along with former police captain Suresh Naraindath, former police superintendent Yunus Khan and police constable Patrick Nkabini.
The fifth man, businessman Sigamoney Pillay, was in hospital owing to ill health.
They face 128 charges, ranging from fraud and racketeering to theft and corruption, all allegedly committed between 2007 and 2009.
Badul is accused of being the kingpin of the “criminal enterprise”, while the others are accused of being his lackeys.
The State alleges the objective of the enterprise was to procure goods and services on behalf of the police station; however, it only benefited the men.
The allegations against the four policemen included that they procured a conference system for the station at an inflated price, dividing the difference between the actual value and amount paid out among themselves.
Naraindath and Nkabini allegedly took cash back from suppliers in lieu of goods procured and paid the money to Badul.
Naraindath, Khan and Nkabini were allegedly paid overtime when none had worked.
They allegedly received incentives in exchange for their co-operation in the enterprise’s activities.
Pillay is accused of billing the SAPS for building work which was done at premises belonging to Badul and his associates.
His defence was that his hands were clean as he had rendered all the services he was paid for.
State advocate Wendy Greef called for Badul to be found guilty on most of the charges.
There were two racketeering charges, one of which all the men were charged with.
Greef asked the court to find them all guilty of it.
The five men had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Arguments continue on Tuesday.