‘We need closure’

2015-02-05 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG murder ­accused Sherwin Cara (24) and ­relatives of the “dance floor” stabbing victim Juran Raman (20) are waiting with bated breath for judgment to be delivered tomorrow.

It has been almost four years since Raman died at the Vacca Matta nightclub and Cara was arrested, and both families desperately seek closure.

Yesterday, advocate Gideon ­Scheltema SC, and Raman’s mother Theresa slammed yet another delay in getting judgment in the case, calling it a “failure of justice”.

For once the defence and victim’s family were on the same page, as they decried news that trial magistrate Fikile Luvuno wasn’t available to finalise judgment because she was currently an acting regional magistrate in ­Vryheid.

Last December — when Luvuno started giving judgment — the case was interrupted by load shedding and was adjourned until yesterday.

Regional court prosecutor Rene ­Padayachee said Luvuno notified her on Tuesday that she wasn’t available this week, and the first date she could finalise the matter was on April 13.

However, the defence wasn’t available until May 7 or 8.

After advocate Scheltema expressed his concerns on record, regional ­magistrate Rose Mogwera took action and approached the regional court president.

She returned with an assurance that arrangements would be made for Luvuno to finalise the judgment tomorrow.

The news was greeted with relief by Raman’s family.

A tearful Raman told The Witness earlier that family members had to take time off work to attend court, to find that the case are being adjourned.

“It’s very disappointing. We have been waiting four years now … As a mother I am praying every day for justice. All we are asking for is closure.”

Scheltema said Cara has to foot the bill every time the case is postponed and is also suffering mental anguish due to the drawn-out proceedings.

“There is prejudice to the legal ­representatives, the administration of justice and the community at large. The perception may well be that the justice system is not functioning efficiently,” he said.

Cara is charged with murder for allegedly stabbing talented local cricketer Raman in the neck with a broken glass during an altercation on the dance floor at the nightclub at Golden Horse casino in the early hours of March 27, 2011.

It has been an emotionally charged trial, with the family of the victim from the outset engaging in protests at court dressed in T-shirts with the slogan, “Justice for Juran”.

In his testimony, Cara denied he’d stabbed Raman in the neck. He maintains Raman must have fallen on a piece of broken glass, cutting himself.

The incident happened after Cara ­allegedly approached Raman and told him to stop “pestering” his sister, ­Melanie.

He alleges Raman lunged at him, knocking a glass of whisky, ice and ­water out of his hand. Raman also stumbled and fell and when he was helped up by security he had “blood squirting from his neck”.

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