Aiyer to face Dun­ywa in court

The Mercury - - NEWS - Ber­nadette Wol­huter

A SE­NIOR State ad­vo­cate from the pro­vin­cial of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions is tak­ing the reins in the crim­i­nal case against for­mer Dur­ban Hawks boss, Colonel Ra­jen Aiyer.

Aiyer – who is fac­ing charges of per­jury and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice – ap­peared briefly in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day morn­ing, when Ncedile Dun­ywa an­nounced that he would be han­dling the mat­ter for the State.

Dun­ywa has worked on a num­ber of high-pro­file mat­ters, in­clud­ing the R144 mil­lion “Amigo” rack­e­teer­ing, cor­rup­tion and fraud case in­volv­ing Uruguayan busi­ness­man Gas­ton Savoi.

He was also in­volved in a case against five men ac­cused of plot­ting to kill then KwaZulu-Natal pre­mier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, in 2010.

Yes­ter­day, Aiyer’s case was trans­ferred to the re­gional court and ad­journed to early next month.

Aiyer had been asked to sur­ren­der his pass­port af­ter his ar­rest, but yes­ter­day the court heard that he had a “close rel­a­tive” who was un­well and liv­ing over­seas and that Aiyer might be re­quest­ing per­mis­sion to travel to visit him in the com­ing weeks.

Mag­is­trate Vanitha Armu said such a re­quest would be dealt with if and when it be­came nec­es­sary.

Aiyer was ini­tially ar­rested along with Cap­tain Dhan­pal Mun­dree, but yes­ter­day Dun­ywa said the State was with­draw­ing the charges against Mun­dree. He did not say why.

Aiyer and Mun­dree were ar­rested by in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate in early Au­gust, on charges re­lat­ing to a false state­ment made in con­nec­tion with a rob­bery case in which Aiyer was one of the com­plainants.

They were both re­leased on R1 000 bail.

Aiyer was at one stage thought to be cen­tral to the State’s case against of­fi­cers from the Dur­ban Or­gan­ised Crime Unit, who have been charged in con­nec­tion with al­legedly run­ning a “death squad”. How­ever, he does not fea­ture on the list of wit­nesses that was filed with the in­dict­ment.

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