Durban - An uMhlanga businessman who owns a Kloof house where police recently made a R32 million drug bust has been released on bail of R700 000.
Duncan Latimo Naidoo appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Naidoo is charged with four other men for allegedly dealing in or alternatively, being in possession of, methaqualone, the active ingredient in the manufacture of mandrax.
The four men arrested in the home in June - Wing Lik Wong, 58, Kin Hung Yip, 56, Warren Daniels, 24, and Junaid Rasool, 24 - appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The matter was adjourned and they were remanded in custody at Westville Prison.
Police investigations revealed that the Everton Road house contained 2 800 litres of methaqualone in pure sludge form and 45kg in powder form.
Naidoo handed himself over to the investigating officer, Colonel Amod Khalil Hoosen, of the Hawks, last Friday.
In his affidavit supporting bail, Naidoo said he owned Holographix Properties trading as Euroshower and Sanitary Ware, Dunpark Property Developers, Greenbuild Properties, Tamlyn Investments and Unitrade CC, among others.
He also owned a 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider, a Lexus IS 250, has an interest in a 2013 Audi RS5 valued at R800 000 and is head of the Duncan Naidoo Commercial Property Trust, which owns land in Riverhorse Valley valued at R27m.
This excludes an incomplete building there worth R4m.
Naidoo, who lives in uMhlanga and owns a house in Zimbali, said in his affidavit he should be granted bail because he had co-operated with the police and had no reason to abscond. He said he employed about 100 people. The affidavit also explains his link to the house at 110 Everton Road.
The affidavit reads: “There is no proof linking me to the drugs bust. I do admit to have been on the premises a number of times to satisfy the requirements of tenants regarding alterations made to the building and the installation of machinery purchased on behalf of the tenants.
“I have no idea of what the press describes as a drugs manufacturing plant,” said Naidoo.
He said he bought the house in the name of his nephew, Junaid Rasool, because he thought it would be a good business venture and he had hidden the deal from his wife because their relationship, at the time, had been “strained”.
Magistrate Bongi Hadebe granted Naidoo R700 000 bail with conditions attached.
Naidoo is to appear at an identity parade on December 9, and has to report to the district surgeon at RK Khan Hospital to submit blood samples and DNA. He is also to report to Durban North SAPS every day between 8am and midday. He must surrender his passport and cannot contact any witnesses.
All the men will now appear in court again next month.