Thoshan Panday to have his day in court for 2010 World Cup-related fraud

It looks like controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday will be standing trial after all, following a failed attempt to quash the charges levelled against him in connection with alleged tender fraud worth millions of rands during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The charges against Panday were previously dropped by also controversial former head of the National Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal, Moipone Noko, in 2012. But, in 2018, then National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams reinstated them, prompting Panday to turn to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court with an application to have the decision reviewed and set aside. That application was,...
It looks like controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday will be standing trial after all, following a failed attempt to quash the charges levelled against him in connection with alleged tender fraud worth millions of rands during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The charges against Panday were previously dropped by also controversial former head of the National Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal, Moipone Noko, in 2012. But, in 2018, then National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams reinstated them, prompting Panday to turn to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court with an application to have the decision reviewed and set aside.

That application was, however, dismissed on Wednesday.

Panday – who has been linked to former president Jacob Zuma's family as well as that of former KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni – is said to have scored big from R60 million worth of dodgy tenders for the provision of local accommodation for police during the World Cup.

He has also been implicated in a sting operation that allegedly saw him try to bribe the Hawks' head in that province at the time, General Johan Booysen, to make the investigations into Panday disappear.

Booysen – who was leading the investigations at the time – was in 2011 thrust to the centre of a now discredited national scandal which saw him and almost 30 of his colleagues accused of running a "death squad".

They ended up being criminally charged with a raft of offences ranging from racketeering to murder. All the charges were finally dropped last year, though, and the The Sunday Times – which was the first to report on the scandal – has since apologised.

In his application to have the decision to reinstate charges against him overturned, Panday argued it was neither lawful nor rational. His case was that Abrahams could not take the decision without first consulting Noko around her reasons for having dropped the charges in the first place; and that privileged conversations between himself and his attorney had been intercepted, rendering his trial tainted.

But Judge Trevor Gorven, sitting in Pietermaritzburg, on Wednesday found neither line could succeed. He pointed out there was at least some form of correspondence between Abrahams and Noko ahead of the decision being taken.

Panday's attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

bernadettew@citizen.co.za

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