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Durban doctor in court over ‘hit’ on brother-in-law

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DURBAN – A family feud is what drove a neurosurgeon at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital to allegedly order a “hit” on his brother-in-law, who is also a doctor.

Another family squabble in September, according to a well-placed source who asked not to be named, hastened Dr Anand Rapiti’s intent to have his sister’s husband, Dr Melvin Naidu, killed.

Rapiti, 43, made a brief appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s Court this week, on a conspiracy to commit murder charge. Magistrate Vanitha Armu adjourned the matter to February for further investigation.

Rapiti was arrested at the hospital last month by members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), over his alleged plot to have Naidu killed.

Hawks investigators were tipped off by one of Rapiti’s patients, Desmond Maneveldt, who was allegedly hired by Rapiti to kill Naidu.

At a previous court hearing, Rapiti was granted R5 000 bail and indicated he intended to plead not guilty.

During the bail hearing, Rapiti said in a statement read out by his legal representative advocate Paul Jorgensen, that he lacked the ability to interfere with the State’s witnesses (Maneveldt and Naidu).

Rapiti said he used prescription drugs for epilepsy, suffered depression, required consultations with psychiatrists and needed medication for his insomnia.

He also said that every two weeks he needed an injection to treat his hormone imbalance.

At the same hearing, Hawks investigating officer Benedict Chonco had his statement on the background of the matter read into the court record.

Chonco said Rapiti approached Maneveldt about having Naidu killed in October, and made a R10 000 down-payment, which Chonco collected and stored as evidence.

Chonco said three undercover operations were conducted, with audio and video recordings gathered from the meetings between Rapiti and Maneveldt, who received a further R25 000 payment.

When he was arrested, Rapiti was under the impression that the murder was still going ahead, the arrest was just a delay, and Maneveldt was introducing him to the hit man.

The source said that the 50-year-old Naidu believed that Rapiti might be working with others to have him killed, and asked police to investigate the possibility.

According to the informant, Naidu, an orthopedic surgeon who has practices in Durban and Ladysmith, expressed great concern at how Rapiti came into possession of R25 000, because for the 32 years he knew him, his brother-in-law never kept large sums of cash.

Naidu believed that his passport picture and expired driving licence were handed to the hit man by Rapiti, said the source.

“The hit on Dr Naidu was supposed to have happened in November, while Anand (Rapiti) was on a cruise ship with his parents at the time,” said the informant.

“Melvin (Naidu) and his wife (Nadine) returned from the UK in 2007 and lived with his wife’s parents in uMhlanga. That is when Melvin kept personal documents at the home.

“Anand also moved in with his parents thereafter. Naidu had a fallout with his in-laws after a family dispute.”

The source said the feud caused Naidu to cut ties with his wife’s family and he did not allow his children to visit their grandparents’ home.

“While on holiday with his wife in July, Melvin suggested to his wife (also a Doctor) that maybe it was time for them to reconcile with her family and mend bridges.

“In September, when his wife was away in Barcelona at a conference, his mother-in-law tried to tell me how to care for his children, which he did not appreciate, and they argued, said the source.”

The source added that Naidu believed his mother-in-law might have told Rapiti about their argument and this might have triggered the plot to murder him.

SOURCE IOL

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani dlomo

Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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