State argues that Anoj Singh should not be allowed to work in the UAE, citing the Gupta brothers’ case

Anoj Singh wants to go work in the UAE, but the State is opposing changing his bail conditions. File Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Anoj Singh wants to go work in the UAE, but the State is opposing changing his bail conditions. File Picture: Henk Kruger / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 15, 2024


The State has argued that Anoj Singh, Transnet’s former group Chief Financial Officer should not have his bail conditions relaxed so that he can seek employment in the United Arab Emirates.

The 50-year-old is appearing before the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, in a bid to have his bail conditions changed after he received on offer of employment from Buy4Rich, a company based in the UAE.

Singh was arrested in August 2022, and is out on R50,000 bail.

His conditions of bail include surrendering of his passport to the investigating officer, and approaching the State if he requires to travel.

According to the State’s heads of argument, Singh has since travelled on three occasions - once to Zimbabwe and twice to the UAE - for short periods.

The arguments state that Singh has been struggling to find employment since his resignation from Eskom in 2018 and has no reasonable prospect of finding employment in South Africa.

In addition, Singh has told the court that his financial resources he relied on to make ends meet are depleted.

Singh is facing 25 different charges, including multiple counts of fraud involving R35 million, R36 m, R79 m, R189 m and R93 m.

He also faces a charge of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999.

“It is submitted that the charges are serious and that the State has a strong case against the accused.”

According to the State, Singh proposed several conditions if his bail conditions are relaxed.

These include communicating via Zoom with the SAPS investigating officer; that he will return to South Africa for a specific period and that he will sign an agreement not to oppose any extradition application brought by the South African government

The State argued that the conditions proposed by the accused are not practically feasible.

They further argued that it was not in the interest of justice for him to take up employment in Dubai and to be based there, pending finalisation of the trial.

They further argued that there is a lack of cooperation with South Africa from the UAE in extradition proceedings.

“The proposed agreement regarding extradition is not feasible and enforceable because it will be concluded between the applicant and the government of South Africa.

“The UAE and other unknown countries to which he will be required to travel to in the course of his duties, will not be party to the agreement.

“It follows that none of them will be bound by the agreement and that it will not be legally enforceable in those foreign countries.

“Worse, it is naïve to think that such agreement would be enforceable in a country which has no extradition agreement with South Africa.”

In using the example of the Gupta brothers’ extradition, the State told the court that they “could not be extradited from Dubai because of how difficult it is to extradite from the UAE.”

“The UAE does not have an open court system and their prosecutors were not in touch or in constant communicating with our prosecutors.”

The State said they were only informed on the outcome of the extradition application about a month after the decision was made.

“This is in the public domain. It is submitted that the UAE’s dealings are characterised by secrecy.”

The court said in May 2023, South Africa requested reasons for the outcome of the extradition application and why the outcome was only communicated a month after the decision was taken.

“To date, the UAE has not provided the reasons sought.”

The State in closing its arguments, said the defence has also failed to highlight any other person who has ever been extradited with ease from the UAE to South Africa.

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