Former Durban Police Officer Colonel Rajen Aiyer, who was dismissed from the SAPS in 2018 after a complaint of intimidation, was arrested and criminally charged in connection with the same allegations.
Aiyer appeared in Krugersdorp Magistrates Court on Wednesday. He was granted bail of R2,000 on condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the complainant.
His release followed an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), which upon a complaint from a Louise Nell, a former Durban wife, that he had harassed her, wrongfully arrested her and held her in custody for two days.
This was at a time when they were at odds quarrel with her ex-husband. Businessman Andrei Potgieter.
In her complaint to Ipid, Nell accused Aiyer of defeating the goals of justice, perjury, intimidation and extortion.
She said after an “excessively “Fighting” divorce from Potgieter, he had filed multiple charges of malicious damage against her, but prosecutors had dismissed one charge.
In 2012, after Potgieter failed to pay child support for their then-minor children, she instituted criminal proceedings against him.
She believed this was “the impetus” for what came out “at the hands of Aiyer,” who she claimed threatened her with arrest and claims he was the investigator into malicious damage to property when he was not.
This was done at Krugersdorp Courthouse while she was attending Potgieter’s trial.
Nell claimed in her complaint at Ipid, Aiyer told her she s ll drop the charges against Potgieter.
Potgieter was convicted of these charges in January 2018. The next day, he petitioned for a domestic violence protection order against her in Pinetown Magistrates’ Court.
Aiyer, allegedly applying for a warrant and claiming he could not locate her, had her arrested . She was held at Hillcrest Police Station overnight. When she appeared in court, he refused bail and then suggested that she be set at R150,000.
She was eventually released on R2,000 bail.
Sources told TimesLIVE that Aiyer – who was once considered a key witness in the abandoned and discredited Cato Manor case – was arrested by Ipid investigators in Durban on Monday.
He will appear in court again on July 29.
Nell’s attorney, Wesley Rogers, told TimesLIVE: “My client is pleased that Ipid has thoroughly and diligently investigated the criminal case she brought against former Col Aiyer, and the DPP was satisfied, based on the evidence gathered, that the alleged crimes were actually committed, warranting this prosecution.
“This is an important matter as it reflects the gross abuse of a citizen by a then-member of the police demonstration ed, which is ultimately a grave misuse of taxpayer resources by those charged with protecting the vulnerable.”
He said Nell had “waited for justice for many years.”
< p>Potgieter was sentenced to an effective prison term of four and a half years for failing to pay alimony of R1.2 million. He served two months and was released on bail pending appeal.
In 2021, two Gauteng judges upheld the conviction and sentence and ordered him to surrender himself immediately to prison authorities.
< p>He is serving his sentence in the new Pietermaritzburg prison.
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