Boy, 10, testifies in murder trial
Pietermaritzburg - Suppressing his fear, a 10-year-old boy told the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday how murder accused Erwin Ramsamuj, 20, held a pistol to the head of Kubendhram Pillay and fired.
Ramsamuj pleaded not guilty on Monday to the murders of Kubendhran Pillay, Merle Maistry and Musawenkosi Ndlovu, who were all shot in the head at 63 Larkspur Road on May 18 last year.
The boy fled to his grandmother and told her to call the police. He was the only witness to the murders of Pillay, Maistry and Ndlovu.
He asked that he should not have eye contact with accused Ramsamuj. A screen was put up in front of Ramsamuj.
The youth twice broke down during his testimony, but after being allowed to compose himself he continued to testify for the State and answered probing questions put by defence counsel advocate Brad Osborne.
Osborne said that Ramsamuj’s defence was an alibi - Ramsamuj said he was at “Mike’s” shebeen and in the company of Mike’s wife.
In his cross-examination Osborne said that in a statement made by the youth, with the aid of his father, it was written that “they were shooting”.
The youth said he had told the police that “he shot”. He ran away before seeing more shots.
No gunshot residue was found on Ramsamuj’s hands on the day of the murders, Warrant Officer Sean Downing of the local criminal centre said.
Downing said the contact wound on Pillay’s head was surrounded by blackening and tattooing. The penetrating bullet would have blown back blood, bone and possibly brain tissue and none of these were found on Ramsamuj or his clothes.
With three people having been shot in a small room there was a lot of blood at the scene.
The pistol found at the scene was in a poor condition and no fingerprints could be identified on it, Downing said.
Downing said that when he went to investigate and photograph the scene he did not know who the gunman was.
Ramsamuj and another person were arrested on the same day and he conducted gunshot residue tests on both, and submitted Ramsamuj’s clothes for testing but nothing had emerged from that.
He said that when he went to the scene the bodies were covered with blankets. The scene could have been tampered with, he said in reply to a question.
Osborne said it might open the possibility of murders and suicide.
The case continues on Wednesday.