Durban tycoon guilty of murder

2014-05-17 00:00

AFTER a lengthy trial that is believed to have had an impact on both families, Durban businessman and socialite Rajiv Narandas was yesterday found guilty of murdering Veenand Singh on July 13, 2008.

The incident took place in the parking lot of the Shoukara nightclub in Johannesburg, where Narandas and a group of his friends were involved in an altercation with Singh that began inside the nightclub.

Magistrate Reiner Boshoff said the state had proved its case against Narandas beyond reasonable doubt.

Narandas’s friend and co-accused Jenaide Charles, who was also to take the stand, died last month after a heart attack in his sleep.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Phindi Louw said that Narandas was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment but received bail of R10 000 pending leave to appeal.

The case dragged on after numerous court appearances and adjournments that took their toll on both families.

Narandas’s advocate Mannie Witz said that stress brought on by the ongoing trial caused Narandas’s father, Krish, to suffer a heart attack.

Bashantha Sannasy, the girlfriend of Singh, who was also at the scene and witnessed the murder, said she was satisfied with the outcome of Narandas’s trial but was unhappy that he had received bail.

“Personally I wanted him to receive a full life sentence because it was such a senseless crime. The fact that he went to fetch a weapon from his vehicle means he had the intent to harm and makes this premeditated … The fact that he was found guilty gives me hope in the judicial system of South Africa,” she said.

Sannasy, who is now 35 and lives in Johannesburg, said the case has taken a “huge toll” on her life. “It’s been an absolute nightmare for my family and I … The look of desperation on Veenand’s face on that night before he was stabbed will forever be imprinted in my mind,” she said.

Narandas, Charles and two of his friends, Samuel Parusnath and Avishkar Jagganath, were sentenced in 2011 for the attempted murder of Lance Moodley — the son of Durban businessman and racehorse owner Roy Moodley, in March 2008.

The incident occurred at Coconut Grove in Blue Lagoon. The four men were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment but were released after serving a year-and-half, thanks to a special remission of sentences granted by President Zuma.


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