Assault accused not guilty but will seek civil claims

Almost a year after he was charged with intimidation and assault on the previous municipal manager, Thabani Biyela, a Dundee man was acquitted of all charges in the Dundee Magistrate’s Court.
K Padayachee had been initially charged following an incident in the municipal building on June 2017 when Mr Padayachee arrived in the building to see Mr Biyela to enquire as to why traffic officials were ‘constantly at his home to deliver a letter to his brother, Desi Padayachee, and in that way harass his elderly mother’.
However, Magistrate Ngwabi found that the evidence of the complainant, Mr Biyela and his two witnesses, Percy Grant Mabilisa and Sane Madela, were ‘non- corroborative and in significant contradiction of each other.’ Mr Padayachee was represented by local attorney Mohamed Abdulla of Mohamed Abdulla Attorneys.
It is believed that at one stage the Magistrate had to caution Mr Biyela after he attempted to converse with his witnesses after his cross-examination and before their cross-examination. This purportedly led to witnesses attempting to amend their original statements under cross-examination which in turn lead to further contradictions in their statements.
After Mr Padayachee’s evidence was led, the Magistrate gave judgement and found Mr Padayachee not guilty. Mr Padayachee was ecstatic and told the Courier that he was initially charged with intimidation, however, after his attorney did a representation to the Senior Public Prosecutor, the charge was changed to assault common, whereupon the complainant, Mr Biyela, asked for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’), on the day of the trial for R400, as he stated he needed money to return home to Durban.

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It is unusual for a defendant to refuse to settle for an ‘ADR’ and demand that the matter proceeds to trial. However, Mr Padayachee stated that he was confident that his innocence would be proven in a court of law as he had not done what the complainant and his witnesses had alleged he had done.
Mr Padayachee stated that his brother was a key witness in the forensic investigation commissioned by the MEC of CoGTA in KZN which severely implicated the complainant and a witness, and this was the motive behind him being charged, which is why he was confident that his innocence would prevail.
He has stated that his attorneys are busy with letters of demand in anticipation of subsequent civil claims to be brought against the Endumeni Local Municipality, various individuals as well as the Departments of Justice and Safety and Security, for inter alia, malicious prosecution, defamation and unlawful arrest. The Municipality was asked to comment on the verdict but at the time of going to press, no response had been received.

  AUTHOR
Northern KZN Courier

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