Roy Moodley, controversial KwaZulu-Natal racehorse owner and friend of President Jacob Zuma, is embroiled in a KZN court battle.
Shanaaz Ally had been arrested and detained for five days at Moodley’s behest after she revealed to his wife that she was allegedly having an affair with Moodley.
Ally sued the arresting policemen, Inspector Ganas Moodley and Constable Karl Harrichall of Durban North police station, and Durban regional court magistrate V. Noncembu ruled in her favour, finding her arrest and detention in April 2013 were unlawful and “actuated by malice”.
In the judgment, the magistrate raised issues about the relationship between the arresting officers and Roy Moodley’s son, Magesh.
Ally said Roy Moodley arrived half-an-hour later and asked his wife “what she was going to do” about his alleged affair. His wife burst into tears.
“I decided to leave the family together … as I walked up the escalators Mr Roy Moodley threatened to have me arrested. He said he would ‘show me’.”
On the way, she met two police officers who said they had been called by him.
“They told me to come with them … they took me to an underground parking where they shoved me into a vehicle. They took me to Durban North police station. At the station I heard one of the officers telling another that they would charge me with anything they could find and make it stick.”
Ally was charged with conspiracy to murder, crimen injuria and extortion. When she appeared in court the officers asked for a seven-day remand for further investigation.
Before the next court date, she signed a statement.
“I was told that if I wanted to go home I must sign it”, and the charges were withdrawn on the same day.
In their evidence, the arresting officers said they had reacted to a report from Magesh Moodley that there was a plot to kill his mother. He had said he was “meeting the suspect” at Gateway.
Inspector Ganas Moodley said he fetched Harrichall from the police station and went to the centre where Magesh told him Ally wanted R5 000 for information and that R5 000 had already been paid.
Ally was “very aggressive, ranting randomly and naming others, including a Nigerian who was involved”, he said.
He said no statement was taken from Magesh Moodley’s mother because she was “too traumatised” but Magesh made a statement instead.
The charges were withdrawn in court on April 24 after Magesh filed a “withdrawal statement” after allegedly meeting with Ally’s family, who told him she was “mentally ill”.
Two ‘mutually destructive versions’
The magistrate said she was faced with two “mutually destructive versions” and credibility of witnesses and probabilities played a crucial role.
She said although Ally was not the best witness, she was “firm in her testimony and did not waver under cross examination”.
She expressed concern that the officers never obtained a statement from Mrs Moodley, who was the alleged victim of the case.
“There is cause for concern when one considers the probabilities. Inspector Moodley and Magesh Moodley are known to each other. Inspector Moodley was called on his cellphone and he decided to attend to the complaint without referring it to the charge office, despite the fact that he had to fetch his partner from there.
“It is also noteworthy that they share the same surname and are on a first-name basis and even visit each other.”