Yeni stranded

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

SOUTH African jock­eys Bran­don Ler­ena and Ray­mond Daniel­son were on Tues­day suc­cess­ful in their ap­peal against a three-month suspension from rid­ing handed down by The Mau­ri­tius Turf Club (MTC) and are now await­ing clear­ance cer­tifi­cates to leave the is­land.

How­ever, in a sit­u­a­tion which Dur­ban­based le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bruce Arm­strong de­scribed as “bizarre”, Muzi Yeni re­mains forcibly stranded on the is­land de­spite no charge hav­ing been laid against him.

It is well doc­u­mented that Ler­ena, Daniel­son and Yeni went on a cata­ma­ran trip in June and one of the other peo­ple on the boat, un­be­known to them, turned out to be a li­censed book­maker.

Ler­ena and Daniel­son were found to be in breach of a MTC rule re­gard­ing as­so­ci­a­tions between li­censed jock­eys and li­censed book­mak­ers and were charged.

How­ever, an ap­peal against the sub­se­quent guilty verdict was heard in­ter­nally on the MTC premises on Tues­day and was up­held.

Not charged

Yeni was not charged with the same breach for the rea­son the MTC ac­cepted that, as he had only been on the is­land for a few days, he could not have known the afore­men­tioned man was a li­censed book­maker.

Ear­lier, Yeni had vol­un­teered in­for­ma­tion to the MTC re­gard­ing a “What­sApp" screen shot, posted on a Face­book group, in re­la­tion to a con­ver­sa­tion which al­legedly took place between some­body called “Muz­iYeni Q” and an­other per­son, the iden­tity of whom is un­known.

The Rac­ing Stew­ards of the Mau­ri­tius Turf Club car­ried out an in­quiry into this mat­ter and con­cluded that there was no ev­i­dence of Yeni hav­ing acted in con­tra­ven­tion of the MTC Rules of Rac­ing.

They there­fore de­cided not to pro­ceed fur­ther with the in­quiry and no charge was laid against Yeni.

How­ever, be­fore any for­eign worker is al­lowed to leave Mau­ri­tius, they have to ob­tain clear­ances from all rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties. Yeni was granted th­ese by both the MTC and the Mau­ri­tius Rev­enue Author­ity (MRA).

Sub­se­quently,Yeni was re­quested by the “Po­lice des jeux”, a depart­ment of the MRA, to record a state­ment in re­la­tion to the “cata­ma­ran” in­ci­dent.

To­gether with a Mau­ri­tian le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Yeni fully co­op­er­ated with the “Po­lice des jeux” and vol­un­tar­ily gave a de­tailed ver­sion on the is­sues raised by the lat­ter.

The “Po­lice des Jeux" then al­lowed him to leave the premises and told him he was free to go.

Ten Gun Salute

It then ap­peared that, Yeni was free to leave the is­land in or­der to ride Ten Gun Salute in the Vo­da­com Dur­ban July at Greyville on July 1.

How­ever, in the first of a se­quence of events, Yeni’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive was in­formed on the same day by the of­fi­cers of the “Po­lice des Jeux” that there was an “ob­jec­tion to de­par­ture” placed upon him and such ob­jec­tion was lodged at the re­quest of the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice.

Yeni’s sub­se­quent ap­peals to all of The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice; The Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice; The Gam­bling and Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity; The Pass­port and Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cer; and the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions to pro­vide a rea­son for the ob­jec­tion brought no joy.

To date nei­ther Yeni nor his le­gal ad­vi­sors have been pro­vided with any rea­sons for the “ob­jec­tion to de­par­ture” and no pro­vi­sional charges have been lev­elled against Yeni.

An­other twist

In an­other twist, the “ob­jec­tion to de­par­ture” in ques­tion seems to be for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod as Yeni has not been in­formed of the du­ra­tion of such ob­jec­tion.

A fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tion to the supreme court was ad­journed un­til Au­gust 18, de­spite Yeni’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives point­ing out the ur­gency of a res­o­lu­tion to the mat­ter as Yeni’s liveli­hood is at stake.

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