Invoice fraud accused gets R200,000 bail
BUSINESSMAN Thoshan Panday was granted R200,000 bail in the Durban Magistrate's Court
Magistrate Sharon Marks ordered Panday not to communicate with any SAPS member other than through his attorney. He is not allowed to interfere with any police investigation or state witness.
Panday and Captain Aswin Narainpershad face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, incitement to commit fraud and corruption.
They allegedly offered R1m to Captain Kevin Stephen to help them generate false invoices worth R15m for submission to the SA Police Service from December 2011 to March 2012.
At the time of his arrest early in April, he was out on R100,000 bail in a case in which he is accused of trying to pay a R2m bribe to KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major-General Johan Booysen.
The State had argued that bail should be denied because Panday had the means to interfere with witnesses, and that there were no exceptional circumstances for him to get bail.
Panday's lawyers had said the state's assertion that he would interfere with witnesses was based on unproven allegations. It was a point that Marks in handing down her decision agreed with, saying the State had provided no evidence to prove he had interfered with witnesses.
There was also no evidence that Panday had violated the conditions attached to his R100,000 bail, she said.
Any assertion by the State that he had the "propensity to commit crime" had to be proven.
Since Panday had no previous convictions, this could not be said to be the case.
Referring to the state's argument that bail should not be granted to prevent Panday from committing further crimes, Marks said: "Bail legislation can never be viewed as a punitive or deterrent measure."
She said minimum sentences on conviction provided deterrence and punishment.
Panday is facing investigations in four cases.
He is being investigated for racketeering and fraud worth R60m and for insurance fraud.
He was ordered to return to court on July 26.