Avineshsing Rajbansi being led into the holding cells by the arresting officer, Lieutenant-Colonel V C Pillay.
Avineshsing Rajbansi being led into the holding cells by the arresting officer, Lieutenant-Colonel V C Pillay.

Rajbansi’s imprisoned grandson moved to private hospital after court order

By Janine Moodley Time of article published Oct 22, 2020

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Durban - AVINESHSING Rajbansi has been moved to a private health-care facility after an urgent application was made at the Durban Regional Court.

The awaiting-trial prisoner is the eldest grandchild of Amichand Rajbansi, who started the Minority Front.

Rajbansi, 30, was taken to King Edward VIII Hospital after he suffered seizures at Westville Prison.

His family were allegedly notified last Monday, two weeks after his admission. At the time, Rajbansi was unable to speak or eat by himself and was dependent on oxygen.

Last Tuesday, when the family tried to move him to a private facility, the authorities at Westville Prison demanded payment of just more than R145 000 for a private guard to be stationed outside his room. The family refused to comply with the request.

On Wednesday, the family, via attorney Rajesh Singh, submitted an urgent court application to have him moved to Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital.

The court subsequently requested a report from King Edward VIII Hospital on Rajbansi’s condition. The report was submitted on Thursday and the application was ruled in favour of the accused.

Garth Davis, the regional magistrate, ordered Rajbansi be detained and receive treatment at the private health-care facility.

“Noting that the government hospital, at which the accused is detained, is unable to provide the necessary treatment, and the undertaking by the accused’s family and legal representatives that all medical treatment and hospital costs will be paid by the defence, it is ordered that the accused be detained at St Augustine’s Hospital,” said Davis.

Davis further ordered that Rajbansi, or his family, would not be responsible for the guarding costs.

“ Should the State deem that necessary despite the health condition of the accused, the cost may not be recovered from the accused.”

Rajbansi’s case was adjourned to November 11, for further reporting and monitoring of his health.

“ including but not limited to an assessment of any cognitive issues that may be an issue at trial.”

Rajbansi or his legal team were required to advise the prosecution in writing or electronically of the date of his proposed hospital discharge at least 24 hours beforehand.

Singh said once the order was made, the accused’s mother left to make the necessary arrangements for the transfer but she encountered several issues.

“At 5pm my client’s mom was informed by King Edward VIII Hospital that Correctional Services was not allowing the move and they had amended the court order to prohibit the move to StAugustine’s Hospital.”

Singh claimed a Correctional Services officer called and told her that the transfer could not take place.

“At 6.30pm, I managed to get hold of an official from Correctional Services, who confirmed that the move would not take place. I subsequently advised him that we had a valid court order and that my client was not in unlawful custody.

“I also advised that we would be launching an urgent contempt application, at which he advised that he would chat to his department and revert. I was subsequently advised that the move would be allowed.”

Singh said Rajbansi was transferred to the private facility at 9.30pm with four Correctional Services vehicles and a guard.

“A guard has subsequently been left to watch my client and not allow any visits without Correctional Services’ permission. Mr Rajbansi is now receiving proper treatment.”

Rajbansi was charged with fraud amounting to R500 000.

Thulani Mdluli, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services in KZN, denied not notifying the family of the accused’s condition. He said all protocols were followed according to its policies.

On Tuesday, Vimlesh, Rajbansi’s mother, sent a letter to Justice Edwin Cameron, the inspecting judge for the Department of Correctional Services.

She said she needed immediate and urgent intervention against an official from the Department of Correctional Services, who she claimed intimidated and harassed her.

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