Dad: ‘It was envy’

2013-05-15 00:00

LOTS of people were envious of him.

That envy was the basis of the rumours that murdered Pietermaritzburg doctor Bhavish Sewram was having an affair with a married woman from a prominent family in the city.

Retired school principal Parmanand Sewram said his son, who was gunned down outside his surgery on Monday night, had achieved a lot in his short life.

“He was always friendly with everyone. He was always wearing a smile. And because of the progress that he had made, people were envious of him,” he said yesterday.

The last time he spoke to his son was on Mother’s Day on Sunday, when the doctor took his parents out for dinner at Liberty Midlands Mall.

“He gave his mother a big card and he had his two daughters write a message for her,” he said.

The distraught father said the family drew strength from the support received from family, neighbours, friends, the medical fraternity and from their faith.

“We are devastated by the loss of our son, who we consider a dutiful husband, a loving father and a good son. His star has fallen, but we have enjoyed him for 33 years.

“God has the power of giving and taking life, and we cannot question his will,” Parmanand Sewram said.

He said robbery was not the motive for the murder, and he hoped the justice system would not fail them.

Recalling the moment when he learnt that Sewram had been killed, he said he had been attending a religious meeting on Monday evening when he received a call informing him that his only son, the second of four children, had been shot dead.

“I was taken aback. But coming from a religious background, we asked that God’s will be done. We accepted it and we cannot question his plan. As Hindus, we believe in the universal law of karma.”

Seeing his son’s lifeless body lying on the road next to his car left him in a state of shock.

“I was left speechless. I was in a state of shock. Many thoughts came to my mind about my son … who shouldered his responsibility and conducted himself well.

“We salute him, and he will be sorely missed,” he said tearfully.

Of his grandchildren — Lysti (five) and Zita (three) — he said: “The older one seems to know what happened. She seems to be shaken. He gave them everything that he could.”

The doors to Sewram’s surgery remained closed yesterday.

On the steps lay a bunch of flowers with a note reading “A kind and gentle soul. RIP. Taken too soon and so cruelly. Love and miss you … Justice will be served”.

Patients arriving for treatment also paid tribute to the doctor, who they said added a personal touch to his work.

Nerand Harrilall said Sewram had been his family’s general practitioner for two years and he could not believe the news.

“I was shocked. He was such a lovely person. He’d call me to check up on how I was doing because my blood sugar levels were high. He was wonderful and very special. This is very tragic,” he said.

Bimla Madthoo was also shaken. She went with her daughter on Monday to consult Sewram about a sick child. “My daughter said the doctor told her that he loved to spend time with his family because life is too short,” Madthoo said.

“Who is this cruel person that did this to him?” she wondered.

On Monday, police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the murder investigation would be headed by seasoned Pietermaritzburg detective Captain Pipes Haffajee.

However, a decision was taken by Mountain Rise police station commander Brigadier Francis Bantham yesterday to hand the docket to the provincial task team in Durban headed by Brigadier Clifford Marion.

Rumours were that this was related to a request from the Sewram family, but Bantham denied this and said the decision was solely hers.

Jeevan said the motive for the killing was unknown.

Sewram’s funeral will take place at the Aryan Hall in Khan Road at 11 am today.

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