Manilall: family livid

2015-05-18 11:32
Monika Manilall

Monika Manilall (File)

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FAMILY members of Howick murder victim Monika Manilall, who was shot dead in February 2006, were fuming as her alleged killer husband was once again granted a postponement of his appeal against his conviction.

The appeal by Sunesh Manilall against his conviction and life sentence for orchestrating the murder of his late wife, was adjourned on Friday until May 6 next year.

This was after the defence complained that portions of the court record were not transcribed.

The late Monika Manilall’s brother, Suren Ramjas, said her family is “very, very upset”.

“He [Manilall] gets to be free now for another year. It is just an easy way for him to buy time. He needs to go to prison and not look for loopholes,” said Ramjas.

He said he and his family could not bear to stay in court to listen to the postponement “in case we say something”.

He was equally angered by the fact that Manilall negotiated a relaxation of his bail conditions, allowing him to reduce the times he has to report to a police station from twice weekly to once weekly, and be allowed to travel freely within the boundaries of KwaZulu-Natal.

Previously he was confined to the Howick area.

Advocate Yoga Moodley SC, who appeared for him, said the change was necessary for purposes of running his towing business.

Monika Manilall’s family said her two daughters born during her marriage to Manilall, stay with him and his new partner and they don’t have contact with them.

They said Manilall also has another child with his new partner.

Manilall was convicted along with the woman he later married, Mumtaz Osman, and Viktor Mbatha, of orchestrating the murder of Monika — his first wife — in 2006.

She was gunned down in their home by four men found to have been hired to carry out the murder for a fee of R10 000.

The late KZN Judge President Herbert Msimang who presided over the case found that Manilall and Osman (who was his lover at that time), assisted by Victor Mbatha, had procured hitmen to murder Monika Manilall because she found out about the affair and threatened to divorce him.

Msimang sentenced all three to life imprisonment.

Osman and Mbatha are serving their sentences.

Manilall was released on bail of R40 000 in June 2011 after he successfully petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeals for leave to appeal against his conviction.

In 2013 his appeal was adjourned to enable the court record to be reconstructed, and last year Manilall pleaded for more time to raise funds to pay an advocate to handle his appeal.

Judge Gregory Kruger granted the adjournment but at that time refused to consider relaxing Manilall’s bail conditions.

He set time limits by when Manilall had to place his legal representatives in funds to deal with the appeal.

Similarly Judges Anton van Zyl, with Judge Phillip Nkosi and Acting Judge Viren Naidoo, said that funds must be paid by January 29 next year.

The judges also ordered that steps be taken to reconstruct the portion of the court record that is currently missing by October 5, and to report back to the judge in charge of civil cases.

Van Zyl said these steps were to ensure that the appeal can be dealt with on May 6 next year

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