Krejcir accused of torture
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Johannesburg - “Prove it.” This is the answer from Radovan Krejcir’s legal team to allegations by the State that he was behind a R24 million drug deal gone wrong, and that witnesses have received death threats since his arrest.
Krejcir appeared in the Germiston Regional Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, along with his three co-accused, where the State revealed for the first time on Monday the details behind the charges of kidnapping and attempted murder.
According to an affidavit opposing bail, written by investigating officer Mashudu Freddy Ramuhala, Krejcir allegedly organised the shipment of 25kg of crystal meth – valued at R24m – to Australia.
The affidavit said Krejcir organised this through a drug pusher – his co-accused Desai Luphondo – who knew someone referred to only as “Doctor”, who worked at the clearance agency at OR Tambo International Airport.
Doctor gave Luphondo a receipt with a serial number as proof that he had shipped the drugs as per the arrangement, but Krejcir and Luphondo later discovered that the drugs had not been shipped, and the two began searching for him.
The affidavit goes on to say that Krejcir ordered his other two co-accused, Hawks members Samuel Modise “Saddam” Maruping and Machache George Nthoroane, to help them find Doctor, and also said there were others involved who were still “on the run”.
One of the men said to be on the run is a Hawks member stationed at the Germiston Organised Crime Unit – as are Maruping and Nthoroane.
On June 25, Krejcir allegedly ordered the three co-accused and those who have not been arrested to kidnap any member of Doctor’s immediate family, if they could not find the man himself.
They convinced Doctor’s younger brother, who has not been named, to open the gate at his home in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, as they said they needed to see his grandmother. After Nthoroane produced his police identification card, the man opened the gate.
They allegedly beat him and took him to Money Point in Bedfordview, the shop owned by Krejcir that was the scene of a bomb blast last month, and held him captive, where they tortured him.
“Applicant 1 (Krejcir) poured boiling water over his head,” Ramuhala’s affidavit said.
He was also forced to divulge where his family home was in Ermelo. Luphondo, Maruping and Nthoroane then went there with the victim hidden in the back of the car, but could still not locate Doctor.
The brother’s ordeal lasted four days, after which he was dumped near the Huntersfield Stadium in Katlehong, where he was allegedly left beaten and burnt.
Ramuhala’s affidavit also claimed Krejcir wanted the kidnap victim killed so that they could kidnap Doctor when he went to attend his brother’s funeral.
But Krejcir’s advocate, Willie Vermeulen SC, slammed the State’s allegations. “It contains conclusions rather than facts,” he said.
Vermeulen questioned why the alleged R24m drug deal had not been placed on the charge sheet and why there were no sworn affidavits to support the allegations of death threats against witnesses.
He said it was up to the State to show in court that they had proof of these allegations if they were using them to oppose bail, which he said should be granted as his client wasn’t a flight risk.
He also said Krejcir’s claims that he was assaulted by police officers when he was arrested placed a “severe question mark” on the State’s case as the police may have had an ulterior motive.
Krejcir’s wife, Katerina Krejcirova, testified that she and her two sons had flown to Mauritius for a holiday on November 21, the day before her husband was arrested. She denied they had flown to Lagos, Nigeria, with an unknown final destination, as the State alleged in Ramuhala’s affidavit.
The bail application for all four men was postponed to Wednesday because the court ran out of time.
Meanwhile, Sars appeared in the Pretoria High Court on Monday in its preservation of assets case against Krejcir.
An attorney representing Krejcir, Dirk Vetten, asked the court to allow them an extension to file their response to Sars’s ex parte application. The return date was set for February, but Vetten said the matter would probably be fully heard only in March or April. – Additional reporting by Angelique Serrao