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Business mogul Moti released on R40 000 bail

Daniel Bethencourt

Businessman Zunaid Moti has been released on R40 000 bail after charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit murder were laid against him.

Zunaid Moti (M&G)

He will appear in the Brits Magistrate Court again on Friday.

Moti's relative Eesa Badat was released on bail of R30 000 for the same charges, and his co-accused Carlos de Sousa also received R30 000 bail on similar charges.

Police arrested Moti for allegedly coordinating a murder and robbery attempt on Brits businessman Naeem Cassim and two friends in the early morning of November 5 2010. Twin brothers Hoosein and Hussen Mohamed were arrested days after the incident but were released without being charged.

Moti, who is known for a love of cigars and fast cars, said outside court after the hearing that he was innocent of the charges, and faulted private consultant Paul O'Sullivan for getting involved in the case when he was hired by Cassim to investigate the attack.

"I've been roped into this thing because of Paul O'Sullivan," Moti said. "I intend to do anything I need to do to expose him. I don't mind getting arrested 10 times."

Moti's wife Humayra Moti also called the accusations "laughable".

'I'm scared for my life'
Meanwhile, Cassim said in an interview at his grocery goods wholesaler in Brits that he was unhappy about Moti leaving court on bail, and added that he had little faith in the justice system to resolve the matter.

"I'm scared for my life," he added. "I'd be very happy if justice can be served."

The courtroom's five long benches in Brits were packed with more than 30 immaculately dressed friends and family of Moti.

Moti lived up to his reputation as a lover of luxury items, wearing a grey peacoat, scarf, and ash grey jeans, leaving the court in an olive green Porsche.

The bail for the three defendants came with restrictions – they are required to turn in their passports and any firearms and ammunition they own to an investigator at the Hartbeespoortdam police station by Friday.

Moti will not be allowed to leave the country without providing the court with an itinerary for approval.

Though an investigator earlier that morning told the Mail & Guardian police would oppose bail, court prosecutor Lucas Moseke told the court the bail would remain unopposed.

Moti's attorney Eddie Claasen stated in court Moti was deemed "not a flight risk" because he has cooperated with authorities so far after making good on his promise to turn himself in at the time he said.

Four more suspects in the case will be brought to the same court on July 27 to face similar charges.

De Sousa has two previous convictions, one in 2010 and the other in 2003.

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