Rajbansi wants case dropped

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NM Vimal rajbansi0 etch (31200608)

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Vimal Rajbansi. File picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo

Durban - The son of the late Amichand Rajbansi, Vimal Rajbansi, who is facing a R3 million fraud charge, is expected to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority about why the case should not proceed against him.

Rajbansi made headlines last year after he publicly called for his stepmother, Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, to step down as leader of the Minority Front, as he needed to protect his father’s legacy.

The party was thrown into disarray after the death of its leader, Amichand Rajbansi, in December 2011 and the ascendancy of Thakur-Rajbansi as it its leader.

According to the charge sheet, Rajbansi, his wife, Sonia van Eck and North West businessman Gideon Pretorius have been charged for an alleged fraudulent business deal over office equipment.

Van Eck and Rajbansi allegedly bought equipment valued at more than R3 million for an enterprise, Ditona, from company Merchant West in November 2010 with a lease payment agreement. Merchant West financed the deal for Ditona and retained ownership of the equipment.

Two months after the deal, Ditona went into liquidation and Merchant West attempted to recover their equipment before it was taken by liquidators, but discovered that the equipment had already been secured by another company.

On Monday, prosecutor Joanna de Beer said that owing to the holiday period and miscommunication between her and court staff, certain documents the State would use in the trial had been handed to the defence only on Monday morning.

She added that a lengthy adjournment to March was required, as attorney Devin Moodley, acting for Rajbansi and Van Eck, wanted to make representations to the State.

“It is not a complicated case, and I should have a decision about the representations by the end of the first week of March.”

Moodley said he would hand in the representations by March 1. He has previously said there was a reasonable explanation for what had transpired.

Pretorius’s attorney Raul Kisten said the documents he had received from the State had to be sent to Pretorius’s attorney in North West.

“I am merely acting as the Durban attorney to relay the information to the attorney in Rustenburg.”

Kisten added that a lengthy delay was needed because Pretorius was going to be booked into a Joburg mental health facility on Monday for treatment.

“My instructions are that he will be receiving treatment for a month and will only be able to consult with his attorney in Rustenburg after this.”

The case was adjourned to March 15, and all three are out on bail of R25 000 each. - The Mercury


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