Diesel theft suspect’s renewed bail bid denied

Durban – A Chatsworth businessman was unlucky for the second time on Wednesday when a Durban magistrate denied his renewed application for bail, based on new facts.

In his new fact bail application, Sadek Haniff had accused the investigating officer, the State advocate and a magistrate, who handled his bail application in another matter, of lying to the court and misleading it.

Haniff is charged with the theft of diesel to re-sell at a fraction of the price, and is also alleged to be responsible for the explosion at the uMvoti Toll Ultra City in March that caused R15 million in damages.

Earlier today :Tanker collides with car in Pinetown

At his initial bail application earlier this year, Durban magistrate Mahomed Motala had found “two startling aspects” that were revealed – he was on bail on a diesel theft charge in another court when the uMvoti offence was committed; and he was dishonest to that court in not disclosing some of his previous convictions.

State advocate, Mahen Naidu, had argued that had Haniff been honest about his previous convictions, bail would have been opposed in the eManzimtoti Magistrate’s Court.

Haniff was charged with the theft of 2 000 litres of fuel on August 5 last year in eManzimtoti. Because of Haniff’s alleged non-disclosure of his previous theft convictions, bail of R10 000 was granted.

Naidu had read out Brighton Beach Detective Warrant Officer Rudolph Grobler’s affidavit in opposition to bail, where it was revealed there was video footage placing Haniff at the uMvoti Toll.

On the footage, Haniff is seen arriving at the toll plaza. In cahoots with the fuel tanker driver, Haniff allegedly proceeded to decanter and steal approximately 3 000 litres of fuel from the tanker. Haniff had admitted to sustaining burn injuries from the explosion.

In handing down his initial decision, Motala said it was significant that Haniff had placed himself at the scene of the offence at the relevant time and intended pleading not guilty, but was “scant on the details” as to why he was there.

In the new application, Haniff claimed the magistrate had not followed proper court procedure. Haniff is to appear in court again next month.

-Iol