Durban03112015Grant Jones outside court.Picture:Marilyn Bernard

Durban - Relatives of a Durban man who was paralysed in an alleged hit reacted with shock and anger when charges against the man alleged to be the mastermind of the plot were withdrawn.

Dain Neveling, Hendrik Nunez and Jorgen Jorgensen were arrested two weeks ago after a Hawks police officer posed as a hit man who would kill Neveling’s business partner Grant Jones.

The charge sheet had referred to Jones as Grant Webb, but that was corrected on Thursday.

The police staged Jones’s “murder” and arrested the three men on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, after payment was made. Neveling also faced a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

They were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder for an earlier attempt on Jones’s life in July, in which he was shot five times and left confined to a wheelchair.

On Thursday Jones, his wife and three daughters watched in disbelief as charges against Neveling related to the alleged hits were provisionally withdrawn, and he and his co-accused were granted bail of R5 000 each.

Neveling would only face illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition charges, and the other two were charged with conspiracy only related to the October incident.

Explaining the change in the case, prosecutor Barend Groen said he had received a letter of instructions on the docket from the deputy director of public prosecutions.

The letter stated that there was “no legitimate grounds to oppose bail” and to provisionally withdraw certain charges.

Groen stressed that this was a provisional decision, and that the charges could be reinstated at a later stage.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu questioned whether the State was not concerned about the safety of Jones, but Groen said he was bound by the instructions from the deputy director.

Armu granted the bail and warned the men to comply with strict bail conditions.

As part of the conditions, they were warned to stay away from Jones and his family, and not to leave Durban without getting consent from the investigating officer.

They also have to report to the Brighton Beach police station twice a week.

Reacting to the court’s decision, a friend of Jones’s commented in court: “Come on, the guy is sitting here in a wheelchair. What’s next?” He was warned by a court orderly while other members of Jones’s family were visibly upset.

The case was adjourned to January for further investigation.

The Mercury

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