Pietermaritzburg businessman Rajivee Soni

Pietermaritzburg - A crime accomplice, who turned State witness in the murder trial of Pietermaritzburg businessman Ravijee Soni, on Tuesday admitted he was a drug addict, alcoholic, thief, fraudster, extortionist and an embarrassment to the SAPS.

Witness Sugen Naidoo, who for three days testified against Soni, was being cross-examined by Soni's attorney Narend Sangham in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Naidoo has alleged that Soni offered R150 000 to have Dr Bhavish Sewram killed. Sewram was shot dead as he left his surgery in May 2013.

The State alleges that Soni in fury orchestrated the murder, believing that Sewram had an affair with his wife.

Naidoo said in court that Soni told him he had made the offer to former policeman Brian Treasurer, who will also stand trial for the murder.

He was the alleged conduit of money to hitmen.

Sangham said that when Naidoo committed crimes and circumstances became “too hot” for him he became a section 204 witness for the State in respect of the crimes in which he took part.

He would get paid off for agreeing to testify in court against people.

Sangham said that when people were injured in a road accident Naidoo corruptly, suddenly became an “injured passenger hurt in the accident” and received payment from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

Naidoo said that there was widespread corruption in RAF, some involving doctors and attorneys.

Naidoo admitted that once when he was corruptly paid off R300 000 he “blew” the money on gambling and drugs.

Sangham said that Naidoo was charged with 19 others for corruption and Naidoo was charged with 17 counts of petrol theft. Naidoo said that the charges against him were withdrawn.

Sangham said that a Mountain Rise crime unit headed by Naidoo's partner Captain Norman was nicknamed “Money Market”.

Naidoo admitted that for R3000 a crime docket could be bought.

At Mountain Rise when a person was charged for a serious crime, for which only a court could grant bail, bribes were paid to a senior officer to release the suspect. Attorneys sometimes paid the bribes.

Sangham said that sometimes, when a crime victim wanted the perpetrator to be charged in court, the investigator was bribed. It sometimes happened that the perpetrator would also buy off the charge.

Naidoo admitted he and his partner would take crime dockets home.

Naidoo would be able to read dockets that his partner brought, Sangham said.

The case continues.

Sapa