Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ex top cop 'threatened state witness'

29 July 2010, 14:33

By Noelene Barbeau

A conversation in passing led to a death threat if the state witness would not change his evidence while testifying against former Sydenham police station commander Glen Nayager.

This was the evidence heard during the controversial police officer's bail application on charges of intimidation, assault (through verbal threats) and affecting the administration of justice.

Nayager was arrested on Tuesday while entering the Pinetown Regional Court to appear for his trial dealing with allegations of theft, fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

The state alleged that Nayager, on Tuesday, intimidated one of the state witnesses, Colonel LJ Matthysen, who is expected to lead evidence against him during his trial which runs until the end of the week.

During his testimony at Nayager's bail application the investigating officer, Captain Louis Helberg, elaborated on the charges.

He said that on Tuesday Matthysen overheard Nayager and others talking about how they had to park across the road. Matthysen told them it was not safe to do so.

Helberg said when Matthysen returned from checking on his car, Nayager approached him. "Colonel Matthysen then asked Nayager what he could do for him and Nayager replied that Matthysen was a key witness and asked him to 'make a flop with his evidence' (make a mistake with his evidence). Matthysen refused and Nayager threatened to kill him, saying he wouldn't do it himself, he'd get someone else to do if for him," Helberg testified.

Matthysen reported this to the investigating officer in the trial and this led to Nayager's arrest later that day.

Helberg said he later learnt that Matthysen had received five death threats on his cellphone on Tuesday evening and admitted he was afraid because he believed he would be killed.

He said Matthysen told him again yesterday he was afraid to testify.

During cross-examination, Nayager's legal counsel advocate Jay Naidoo pointed out that the threatening phone calls were not mentioned in Matthysen's written statement.

He added that the Colonel's demeanour yesterday was not of someone who was afraid or stressed.

Naidoo told Helberg that Matthysen was acting as station commander at the Sydenham police station, which was Nayager's position.

He said Matthysen was involved in the Labour Court dispute where Nayager was fighting to resume his post at the police station.

Nayager's bail application continues today together with his trial.

In court papers submitted during Nayager's trial yesterday detailing why he was pleading not guilty to all three counts, Nayager claimed the "present prosecution is malicious and an abuse of process against me".

He said in the past 18 months he had been subjected to various acts of victimisation, harassment and unlawful conduct by the SAPS and had been the victim of a conspiracy to oust him from his position as station commander.

He said in a disciplinary hearing in May he was found guilty of sexual harassment and appealed against this decision.

Nayager said the SAPS failed to finalise his appeal during the stipulated period of time so he returned to work, but was threatened with arrest for impersonating a police officer. He disputed this and learnt on July 22 that the SAPS agreed he could report for duty.

Details of the charges he is currently on trial for deal with allegations that Nayager was found in illegal possession of three case dockets, which were kept in a safe at Sydenham police station and that he used a contractor, who was not on the police supplier database, to do the tiling at the police station.

Nayager allegedly hid the dockets so that the cases could not be investigated. The cases include a drug charge, an assault charge against Nayager and a contempt of court charge.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Daily News on July 29, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Is this the corruption General Bheki Cele is talking about?

How can a villain like this protect the public?

Where is our country going!

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