Former torture accused gunned down at his home

2014-04-28 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG businessman was killed and his teenage son was wounded moments after arriving at their home in Raisethorpe when they came under fire from unknown assailants on Saturday night.

Police are not certain of the motive for the murder of Ramesh Haripersad (50), an owner of Pearl Transport, and attempted murder of his son, Avishey (17).

According to a police report, nothing was taken from the victim, though it was initially believed that the incident could have been an attempted hijacking.

When The Witness visited the family’s home where the incident occurred yesterday morning, they were asked to leave as the relatives were still in mourning.

However, Haripersad’s brother, Ragesh, later told The Witness in a telephonic interview that the shooting happened just as Ramesh Haripersad arrived home in his double-cab bakkie at about 7.45 pm.

He was accompanied by his son, Avishey (17).

“They were shot at … Several shots were fired and one grazed Avishey on his arm,” he said.

Ragesh Haripersad said the family was still very shocked at what had happened.

A source told The Witness that two suspects were reportedly seen fleeing the scene of the shooting outside Haripersad’s home in Gogas Road and allegedly ran into Manuel Road.

However, no arrests were made.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said Mountain Rise police have opened a murder docket.

“It is alleged that a 50-year-old male was shot in his car outside his house in Gogas Road. He was taken to hospital where he died on arrival. The motive of the shooting is unknown and no arrest has been made at this stage” said Zwane.

The Witness has established that the murder victim, as well as his brother, Ragesh, were accused in 2008 of having attempted to murder a Zimbabwean employee of theirs, Ian Madzogo, by setting him alight.

He told police that what led to the attack was that the brothers accused him of stealing diesel, which he denied.

When asked by The Witness yesterday if he and his brother were the people charged in that matter, Ragesh Haripersad replied, “No”.

However, The Witness has records of reports that were published when they appeared in court in 2008 and other articles about the incident.

Interviewed while in hospital recovering from his injuries, Madzogo told Witness journalist Sharon Dell that the brothers had shot at him and thereafter forced another employee to burn his private parts with a candle.

Finally, they doused him with thinners and set him alight.

He suffered extensive burns to his body and was hospitalised for three months.

The Haripersad brothers were charged with attempted murder and they appeared in court on at least two occasions.

However, the charges were later withdrawn against them, allegedly because a key witness fled the country and returned to Zimbabwe.

It was also reported by The Witness at the time that members of the Labour Department were assaulted and held hostage at Pearl Transport premises when they went there to investigate the alleged attack on Madzogo.

A Pietermaritzburg resident who helped Madzogo in the wake of the attack on him and gave him a place to live, confirmed yesterday that Madzogo has returned to his home in Zimbabwe.

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