Durban - Controversial KwaZulu-Natal policeman and former Durban organised crime unit head, Colonel Rajen Aiyer, was fired on Monday following a complaint containing serious allegations of intimidation levelled against him.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini said Aiyer had been dismissed after the investigation of a case where he allegedly intimidated a former Durban woman, Louise Potgieter, and victimised her outside court in Klerksdorp, where she was pursuing criminal charges against her former husband, Andrei, for failing to pay maintenance.
But Aiyer yesterday referred to the allegations as “lies” created by people who “sit behind desks and judge me and follow conspiracies” to discredit a “good policeman” who was fighting crime. He said he was determined to pursue a case of unfair dismissal in the Labour Court.
Dlamini said Potgieter had been wrongfully arrested on a case in 2010.
But Aiyer yesterday insisted the case was based on solid evidence in connection with an alleged housebreaking incident in Hillcrest.
“Despite reopening the dockets, he also went to Krugersdorp, where he intimidated and victimised the complainant (Potgieter). His dismissal was approved by the national commissioner,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini said Aiyer had been officially informed of his dismissal on Monday, and had vacated his office.
Potgieter yesterday referred questions to her attorney, Wesley Rogers, who said the housebreaking claim related to a charge pressed by her ex-husband for entering her home that she owned at the time, “and therefore extra caution should have been exercised by the State before relying on Aiyer’s evidence in authorising a warrant of arrest on a docket that had been closed for eight years, especially when Aiyer was not even the allocated investigating officer to the docket”.
It is understood the housebreaking docket was opened in 2010 and closed without Potgieter being prosecuted, and was revived in March by Aiyer in order to arrest her.
Her former husband was eventually sentenced to six years’ jail, with 18 months suspended, for failure to pay maintenance.
A source, who asked to remain anonymous, said Aiyer had allegedly first called Potgieter and told her to withdraw the case against her ex- husband, and then approached her.
“He said he was doing a criminal investigation against her, and that he would have to transfer her back to Durban and book her into the police cells,” the source said.
However, the State prosecutor in the maintenance matter had apparently noted that Aiyer did not have a warrant for her arrest with him.
“Then, in March, he arrested her and she was kept in custody for two days, and all the while he told her to withdraw the charges against her husband, but she refused,” he said.
Former Hawks boss Johan Booysen, who was at the centre of allegations of running the so-called Cato Manor hit squad, in which Aiyer was believed to be the main State witness, said his dismissal was “long overdue”.
“Aiyer has enjoyed the protection of the previous police management far too long, and they should shoulder the blame for the havoc he created in and outside SAPS,” Booysen said.
Aiyer declined to comment on the allegations, except to say he was correctly doing his job as a policeman and that the matters were sub judice.
“I am sick and tired of the victimisation and internal politics. I have been unfairly treated and will follow the correct procedures. It is clear to me there are hidden agendas,” he said.