Durban - Former policeman Sagren Malayan claims that his first week of a 15-year sentence at Westville Prison for murder has gone badly, with other inmates threatening his life.
The 42-year-old Newlands West man made a new bid for bail, pending his appeal against his conviction and sentence, also telling the Durban Region-al Court on Wednesday that his 15-year-old daughter – the “centre of my universe” – was devastated at his incarceration.
He has also claimed that his ex-wife now wants custody of their daughter, as well as ownership of his house.
Moreover, he claimed he suffered from chronic high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels, and had now run out of medication.
It was unclear, he said, whether he would have adequate access to medication given the state of medical services at Westville Prison.
Malayan, who was a warrant officer at Reunion SAPS until he was fired last year, was previously denied bail pending his appeal, and brought the new application based on what he said were new facts.
Magistrate Anand Maharaj had sentenced him on September 2, but had granted his application for leave to appeal .
Prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay had not opposed the application, saying at the time that a higher court would come to the same conclusion. But Maharaj denied Malayan’s application for his bail to be extended.
Malayan shot 20-year-old Dean Romano Govender after an altercation outside Hillgrove Secondary School in Newlands West in October 2012.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, saying the shooting was in self-defence.
He told the court he had gone to the school, where his family was holding a function one weekend, to defuse a situation after a group of youngsters, which included Govender, had become unruly.
He claimed a squabble broke out and that Govender attacked him with a knife. He pulled out his firearm, cocked it and fired two warning shots in the air, not intending to harm the youngster, but to scare him.
The bullet struck Govender’s right arm and penetrated his chest.
The victim’s mother, Julie Govender, told the court her son’s death could have been avoided.
Malayan was suspended and later dismissed. However, in a probation officer’s report, Govender maintained his innocence, as he did in an affidavit on Wednesday in support of bail.
He felt his appeal had reasonable prospects of success.
His minor daughter was the basis of his new bail application. Malayan said since his incarceration she had twice threatened suicide if she was placed in her mother’s custody.
Malayan claimed his ex-wife visited his Newlands West home at the weekend and asked his brother for keys so she and her daughter could live there.
His brother and sister-in-law live there with his daughter.
Malayan felt he needed to be released on bail to provide counselling for his child.
His application continues next week.