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Durban - A Phoenix mother is suing the police and the prosecuting authority for R60 000, claiming she was unlawfully arrested at the behest of politically connected Durban racehorse owner Roy Moodley and locked up in police cells for four days before all charges against her were withdrawn.
In a summons issued out of the Durban Regional Court this week, Shanaz Ally said she was arrested at La Lucia Mall on Friday, April 19 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, extortion and crimen injuria.
She says in the court document she had been invited by Moodley’s wife to a meeting “under the guise that they were going to have a private discussion about Roy Moodley’s alleged affair”.
However, a few minutes after the meeting started, Roy Moodley - widely reported to have links to President Jacob Zuma - arrived, confronted her and threatened to “teach her a lesson and send her to jail”.
“Police officials arrived shortly after and had a private conversation with Moodley and his wife,” Ally says.
She was then instructed to accompany the police officials out of the office and was taken to a secluded spot, grabbed and dragged to the police vehicle.
It is alleged that police officials told her they would “find anything and make it stick”.
She was kept at the Durban North police cells over that weekend and appeared in court on Monday, April 22, when the prosecutor “maliciously refused” to release her on bail.
She was then kept at the Durban Central cells. The charges were withdrawn the following day “without any explanation”.
The summons states that the police “when assisting Mr Moodley” did so maliciously in that they did not have any reasonable belief in the truth of the information that she had committed the offences she was charged with.
The prosecutor, in adjourning the bail application without releasing her, had not applied his mind to the merits of the case and had also failed to take into account the potential mala fides (bad faith) of the investigating officer.
Ally says the damages suffered were aggravated by her absence from home without arrangements being made for her children.
The summons was issued after Ally’s attorney, Leon Dunn, made a written demand for payment of R30 000 from the police and R30 000 from the prosecuting authority to which no response was received.
They now have 20 days from receiving the summons to file notices of intention to defend.
It is likely the matter will go to trial, probably only next year.
Moodley is the chairman of the ANC uMhlanga branch. His trust, the Roy Moodley Family Trust, owns a Durban North house in which Zuma’s son, Edward, lived.
Moodley made news in 2009 when he was arrested for bribery and corruption for trying to get a better seat at Zuma’s inauguration.
He said he was merely paying a tip and the charges against him were later dropped.
He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.