Petrus ‘The General’ Ndaba in the dock at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court during his bail application.
Picture: Oupa Mokoena
Pretoria - Petrus “The General” Ndaba on Thursday told the Pretoria Magistrates' court that he could afford anything between R10 000 and R50 000 should he be granted bail.

The court heard arguments from the defence and the State prosecutor about Ndaba’s bail application.

Defence counsel, advocate Jurg Prinsloo said the State’s case was weak and lacked credibility.

“Mr Ndaba Is conducting his own organisation using his own rules. Nowhere can it be proved that he was running it parallel to the SANDF,” Prinsloo said.

There was also no evidence that the 259 people were given military training as stated by the State prosecutor.

Prinsloo said Ndaba’s Amabutho Royal Defence Military War Veterans was not a secret organisation - it was even recognised by the Presidency.

But State prosecutor, advocate Ronnie Sibanda, presented photos to the magistrate that show Ndaba wearing his camouflage with medals only bestowed by the president. 

“How did Mr Ndaba get those medals because they are bestowed by the president, and the president only?”

Sibanda described Ndaba as an “extraordinary man” who is highly intelligent and brainwashes people. “He therefore needs to remain in custody before he does any further brainwashing,” he said.

The case was postponed to Friday when the magistrate will give his final verdict on bail.

Charges against Ndaba include kidnapping, assault, fraud and crimen injuria. 

He was arrested for allegedly luring and scamming 259 people into believing they would be trained and integrated into the SANDF for a fee.

The recruitment scam first became public knowledge last week when a group of people, aged between 18 and 30, were seen on the streets Karen Park.

They had bags, blankets and other belongings with them and said they had been evicted from a house in the suburb because of unpaid rent. Local police then arrested Ndaba, who allegedly styles himself as leader of Amabutho Royal Defence.

The victims were recruited mostly from KwaZulu-Natal and they had reportedly paid between R300 and R800 for registration, R1 800 for training, as well as R200 a month since last year.

Ndaba is alleged to have demanded payment for lodging from them as well. He also promised them a salary of R13 000 a month and said they would be given the opportunity to study further.

The men and women shared a three-bedroomed house with one bathroom and used two Wendy houses, with males and females sleeping together. 

Some slept in the kitchen, passages, dining room and lounge. Ndaba also has a previous conviction for murder.

He joined the then South African Defence Force (SADF) as a Public Service Act Personnel in 1991. He was stationed at 115 South African Infantry Battalion in Pretoria.

In 1992 he underwent basic military training and was appointed in the SADF in the rank of a private. He was arrested and charged with murder in 1993.

He was tried in a civilian court and found guilty.

He was subsequently sentenced to a jail term of 10 years in 1995 of which he served six-and-a-half-years. At the time of his incarceration he was still ranked as a private.

Pretoria News