Leg breakers was a lie

2015-10-09 10:51
Rajivee Soni at court.

Rajivee Soni at court. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Rajivee Soni had asked a Pietermaritzburg man to find people to break the hands and legs of murdered Dr Bhavish Sewram, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Hoosen Shaik-Cassim, a brother-in-law of former “rogue” policeman Sugen Naidoo, told the court Soni asked him in June or July 2012 to “find guys to break the doctor’s hands and legs and put him in a wheelchair”.

Also testifying yesterday was Pietermaritzburg woman Mariamma Kisten, who said that she laid a false sexual assault charge against Sewram in about February 2012, after being asked by her husband’s friend, Daryl Gounder, to “help out” somebody.

The state alleges that Soni orchestrated Sewram’s murder and ran a vendetta against him because he believed he was having an affair with his wife.

Shaik-Cassim told Judge Jacqueline Henriques and assessor Gerhard Barnard yesterday that he met Soni and Naidoo at his home “between June and July 2012”.

“Rajivee (Soni) asked if I know a doctor by the name of Bhavish Sewram … He asked if I know someone who can break the doctor’s hands and legs and put him in a wheelchair. I said I do know some black males from Durban who will do it, but they are bad guys and will end up killing the doctor. Rajivee said to do whatever it takes. He’s got the money; money won’t be an issue.”

Shaik-Cassim said Soni left and returned soon thereafter with R5 000.

“He gave me R1 200 and the remaining R3 800 to Sugen Naidoo.”

Shaik-Cassim said Soni told him to use the money to hire a taxi to bring the men from Durban and they would get the balance when the job was done. “He (Soni) said he doesn’t want any dealing with the males as he has got a lot to lose. Rajivee said he wants the job done the same night.”

Shaik-Cassim said he had lied to Soni and was “never going to do anything”.

“It was an opportunity for me to make money,” he said.

Kisten, who owns Molly’s Tuck Shop and runs an adjacent pub and tote, told the court her husband came to her around February 2012.

He told her his friend wanted her to “help out” by laying a false charge against the doctor. She initially refused, but agreed to do it after Gounder spoke to her.

“I did go to the doctor and I did lay a false claim against him,” she said.

Kisten said she had gone to see Sewram as a patient. “I told the doctor I had a headache. I lay on the bed and he took my pressure. Then he told me that it must be my sinuses worrying me,” she said.

Kisten said Sewram gave her tablets and she left. She paid R200 for the consultation.

Later that day she opened a false case of sexual assault against the doctor at Mountain Rise police station.

“I said that while examining me, he put his hand on my breast and that I felt very uncomfortable … It didn’t happen,” she said.

Kisten said she had made a similar statement to members of the police Family Violence and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS). That evening Gounder gave her R3 000.

However, a prosecutor later told her she was wasting her time in pursuing the case.

“She (the prosecutor) said I must leave it because it is my word against the doctor’s,” said Kisten.

•In another development yesterday, Judge Jacqueline Henriques dismissed an objection raised by Soni’s defence attorney to evidence being led about an alleged cellphone call made by one of Sewram’s killers while driving away from the scene of the crime.

Sabelo Dlamini testified that the call was made by ex-policeman Brian Treasurer.

“He (Treasurer) told the person that the job was completed,” he said.

Dlamini, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to shooting Sewram, turned state witness in the trial of Treasurer and Mfaniseni Nxumalo, and now that of Soni

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  soni

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