Twist in Sewram case

2013-07-03 00:00

THE parents of murdered Pietermaritzburg doctor Bhavish Sewram joined a throng of reporters and photographers at the regional court yesterday to get a glimpse of the two men implicated in the murder of their son on May 13.

After a long wait the man suspected of firing the fatal shots at the doctor, Sabelo Advocate Dlamini (24) and his co-accused, Mfaniseni Wiseman Nxumalo (34), made a very brief appearance before regional court magistrate Jennifer Anthoo.

They were remanded in custody to July 9 pending further police investigations.

At the request of prosecutor Ricky van Wyk, the court ordered that the accused be detained at Isipingo police cells. Both accused, who are from Masons informal settlement in Copesville, said they required legal aid attorneys.

Members of the media and Sewram’s parents, Parmanand and Nalini Sewram, waited for several hours in the court corridors from early yesterday morning while behind-the-scenes consultations took place and instructions were obtained from the office of the director of public prosecutions before the accused appeared in court.

Following a detailed consultation behind closed doors with his legal aid attorney, Amsha Narayan, Nxumalo dashed initial expectations that he might plead guilty.

Instead he appeared before a different magistrate in chambers where he made a confidential statement, before making his formal appearance in the accused’s dock alongside Dlamini.

The Witness learned that Nxumalo is suspected of playing the role of a “go between” in the murder, while Dlamini has been fingered as the man who pulled the trigger.

Brigadier Clifford Marion — who is heading a provincial task team appointed to investigate the murder that appears to be a hit — confirmed yesterday that “there is still a lot of work to be done” in the case and further arrests are expected to follow.

He praised the “consistent hard work” of the special investigation team under his command and said their dedication had led to the breakthrough in the case and arrest of the first two suspects at the weekend. Marion said the team had worked tirelessly from Friday until the early hours of Sunday when the accused were arrested.

Sewram was shot three times, in his neck, arm and back, by a hooded gunman as he was about to drive away from his surgery in Chota Motala road on the night of May 13. He died at the scene.

The shooting followed a series of threats and an attack on the doctor and his family, who claimed in October last year that they were the victims of a vendetta.

This involved graffiti painted on the walls of his home and surgery, threatening phone calls and allegedly false charges of sexual assault and possession of drugs being laid against the doctor. He also laid a complaint with the police following an incident on October 24, when rubber bullets were allegedly fired at him from a paintball gun.

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