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Durban - Durban bodybuilder Rajiv Narandas, on bail in a murder case, has gone back to court, this time to fight for a furry toy pom, Pookie.
The socialite has approached the Durban High Court asking that it order his mother’s business partner, Marco Accolla, to hand over a dog he says is his beloved pooch Pookie and to declare him the rightful owner.
“There is bad blood between (Accolla) and myself. We do not see eye to eye and I have as little to do with him as possible,” Narandas said in an affidavit filed in court.
Accolla opposed the application and filed his own papers on Friday.
He argued that Narandas did not care for the dogs (Pookie and its poodle companion, Max), and that Pookie had lived with him for the past two-and-a-half years.
Accolla accused Narandas of using the dogs to terrorise, manipulate and obtain some advantage over his own mother and father and himself (Accolla).
He said Narandas was attempting to use the dogs as a “football” in disputes between Narandas, his mother and Accolla.
Narandas said in his papers that he had an arrangement with his mother, Rosanne, since 2011 to collect four-year-old Pookie and Max, his 16-year-old Maltese poodle, from his Westville home during the day and return them in the evenings.
“It was an amicable and loose arrangement,” he said in his affidavit. “On occasions when I was out of town she would keep them overnight as well.”
However, Narandas said his mother had kept the dogs with her for the past eight months.
He said he chose not to litigate and felt he would wait until she went on a business trip to try and get the dogs back.
In July, he said his mother was due to travel on a business trip to China and asked him to have the dogs picked up by his driver.
When the driver arrived, Narandas said his mother’s business partner, Accolla, refused to hand them to him.
He said his attorney, Zane Haneef, drafted a letter to Accolla asking for the dogs to be returned, but that Accolla replied that Rosanne was the lawful owner.
Narandas said he then decided to wait for his mother to return from her trip before pursuing the matter further.
When she returned on August 10, he said they made arrangements for him to be reunited with his dogs a few days later.
However he said his mother’s car was “intercepted” en route to his house by Accolla who removed Pookie from her car and allegedly threatened her and told her not to return Max.
Narandas said his mother did return Max on Sunday, but he claimed that when she tried to open a case against Accolla, the police told her it was a civil matter and could not assist her.
“I have no idea if Pookie is being properly cared for by (Accolla) who will not communicate with me,” he said in his affidavit.
Narandas said Haneef drafted another letter to Accolla on August 14, which he did not respond to. After contact with Accolla’s attorney, Narandas said Accolla had taken Pookie and was now alleging that he was the lawful owner of the dog and that he was not prepared to return him.
“How he could possibly now be the lawful owner of Pookie is beyond me,” he said.
Narandas has asked the court for an interim order to be granted until the matter is finalised.
“Pookie and Max have never been separated since Pookie arrived. At present they are separated from each other for no reason other than a conflict between me and (Accolla),” Narandas said.
“Max is extremely old and it is obvious that separating him from his partner and taking him out of his regular routine away from his primary caregivers, would be severely damaging to him.”
Accolla in his responding papers at the Durban high Court this morning called the allegations by Narandas “absurd and without any substantiation”.
Narandas stated that Pookie and Max have never been separated since Pookie arrived. In his own version, Accolla says that Narandas admits that he has not had possession of the dogs for 12 month, and thus would not know if the dogs had been separated, Accolla said.
Accolla said that Narandas “vaguely” alluded to some type of irreparable harm occurring should the relief not be granted, but does not state what or who will be harmed or the nature of harm.
Accolla said in papers: “Pookie sleeps in my bed with me, has a hearty meal of dry biscuits and chicken every night and enjoys braai meat with me every Friday.”
He said to displace Pookie from his ordinary routine would be against the very status quo that Naradas is arguing should be restored.
“Narandas is an aggressive man whom, I fear, may cause harm to Pookie or secret him away by the time the matter is resolved, should the relief be granted.”
Accolla said that Narandas had originally bought Pookie for a girlfriend, about four years ago, but when that relationship ended a few months later, he gave the dog to his mom to look after.
“His mom lives in Musgrave and for the first two years, she would keep the dogs for the week and on the weekend they would go to Westville where Narandas and (his father) lived.”
Accolla said this was because the rules at the Musgrave residence initially prohibited animals so they lived between the two homes.
He said Narandas had no interest in the dogs and that they were looked after by the domestic worker.
“For the past two-and-a-half years, Narandas’s mom has kept the dogs as the rules changed. He doesn’t care for the dogs, he’s had a dispute and now he wants the dogs back.”
He said it had also been Narandas’s mother who had given him the dog, not Narandas himself so he should be taking his mother to court.
”She handed over Max on Sunday to avoid conflict.”
He submitted pictures showing damage to Roseanne’s house, and spraypainted slogans on the walls, allegedly by Narandas.