A Durban businessman, who said he was harassed and thrown into jail several times by a policeman at the behest of controversial racehorse owner and friend of President Jacob Zuma, Roy Moodley, has won his case against the Minister of Police.

A News24 report says Vinesh Juglall lodged his claim against the Minister and Durban North station commander Colonel Reuben Govender in July 2014. Two of his three claims were settled in the KZN High Court (Durban) on the issue of liability only. He is claiming about R1.5m in damages and legal costs.

A third claim has been set down for trial in August.

Juglall, in his application, said he had been involved in a business deal with Moodley over the sale of a property in the Durban city centre for R12m. Juglall says he was summoned by Moodley to a meeting at an attorney's office, ostensibly to resolve the dispute, on 2 March 2012. When he arrived there, Moodley was absent and he was arrested by Govender on a charge of fraud, alternatively theft, without a warrant.

He was detained at Phoenix police station until the following morning. He said Govender told him that he would stay behind bars until he settled the matter or paid back the R12m. Eventually, he was released after his attorney brought an urgent application in the High Court.

A second arrest, also requiring a High Court application for his release, followed, and the third claim for more than R600 000 – which has not been settled – involves a third arrest in February 2013. It is alleged Govender, or other police officers, ‘acted maliciously’ by taking the docket to a prosecutor to sign off on a warrant for the same charges.

Govender is the same police officer that sought and obtained a warrant of arrest against journalists and authors Jacques Pauw and Pieter-Louis Myburgh. The complainant in that case was also Roy Moodley, who had been named in their books as being one of Zuma's benefactors. T

he News24 report notes that after Durban senior public prosecutor Sagren Naidoo declined to authorise the warrants, Govender approached a yet to be named magistrate at Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court, who signed off on them on the basis of charges of fraud, uttering and criminal defamation.

However, an application by Brigadier André Holby for the warrants to be set aside was granted by Durban Magistrate Irfaan Khallil who also ordered investigations into Govender and the unnamed magistrate. Holby also laid a criminal charge against Govender, which has been referred to the Independent Investigative Police Directorate (Ipid). It confirmed an investigation was under way, but was not complete.

Full News24 report