Durban - Inderesan Maistry, who is accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of his wife in February, will apply for bail on Friday after making a successful urgent high court application on Tuesday in which he claimed he was being “unlawfully detained” beyond the legislated seven-day period.
“I have a right to my liberty,” the Department of Labour manager claimed in his court papers, which came before Durban High Court Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel.
He has, until now, been named as Alvin in reports but, according to his affidavit, his first name is Inderesan.
Maistry married Charmaine Naidoo by Hindu custom seven years ago and was implicated in her murder by self-confessed hitman Sifiso Joyisa, who named him in his guilty plea as “the boss” who had given the orders.
Charmaine, 32, was at home in Merebank on February 17 when the house was broken into. She was taken by force, stabbed, shot and throttled. Her body was found near Galleria shopping mall in Amanzimtoti.
Maistry, who was arrested just before the Easter weekend last month, has denied any involvement in the crime.
“There is no reliable evidence against me. The State is relying on the word only of the killer himself, and the case cannot be considered strong,” he said in his affidavit in the urgent application.
He said that Joyisa claimed to have met him before February 17 and was told by another suspect that “I was the boss who wanted the hit carried out”.
“This is absolutely false. I have never met any of the intruders and had nothing to do with the death of my wife.”
Maistry said he had first read about the allegations against him in the newspapers and immediately contacted his attorney, who contacted the investigating officer.
“We made arrangements to meet with him on Tuesday, April 22 (after the Easter weekend) but, in spite of this, I was arrested late that same afternoon and taken into custody. I have no doubt this was a malicious move so that I would not be able to apply for bail for at least four days.”
At his first court appearance, he had been advised by the magistrate that because the State was opposing bail, the hearing would have to be adjourned and the court roll was full until mid-May.
The prosecutor indicated that he wanted to hold a identification parade. Maistry said his attorney had repeatedly pointed to the fact that in terms of the law, he should have a bail hearing within seven days, but the magistrate was adamant that the court was busy and the case was eventually postponed to May 16.
He said the parade had still not taken place and his attorney had written to the deputy chief magistrate asking for urgent intervention. There had been no response. “I have no choice but to come to the high court to get relief and I have done my best to raise the necessary funds urgently,” he said.
Maistry asked the judge to either release him on bail, or to order that the bail hearing be held in the magistrate’s court this week.
While the State initially opposed the application, Maistry’s advocate, Murray Pitman, advised the judge that the matter had been settled and it had been agreed that the bail hearing would take place this Friday.