Nurse in hot water for attempted murder of surgeon

2015-09-16 10:13
Henry van Niekerk (File, The Witness)

Henry van Niekerk (File, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A theatre sister has appeared in court in connection with the attempted murder of Pietermaritzburg general surgeon Henry van Niekerk, who also found himself in the news earlier this year over a “pub brawl”.

Rashika Moonsamy, 35, of Boughton appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court last Friday, in connection with an allegation that she tried to kill Van Niekerk on August 27 by “pouring boiling water over him, attempting to stab him with a knife, and pouring Benzene over him”.

She was granted bail of R2 000.

Moonsamy said in an affidavit in support of her bail application that she intends pleading not guilty to the charge against her and she “vehemently” denies all the allegations.

The alleged attack happened at an address in Kitchener Road in the upmarket suburb of Clarendon.

Hospitalised

Contacted in connection with the incident on Tuesday, Van Niekerk was loath to discuss the details as the court case is pending.

He told The Witness, “I was in hospital for a period but I have been discharged and I am now 100%. I don’t want to say a word about it [the incident] … it is sub judice,” he added.

He was asked to confirm whether or not he and Moonsamy had been involved in a relationship, but did not respond to the question.

In her affidavit, Moonsamy said she is permanently employed at St Anne’s Netcare Hospital and has worked there for 13 years. She described herself as a qualified theatre sister.

She said it was explained to her (by her lawyer) that if she elected to give evidence at her bail hearing, the evidence could be used against her in a subsequent trial. For that reason she felt it prudent to make an affidavit.

“I deny all the charges against me. I am informed that I am charged with attempted murder. I intend pleading not guilty and vehemently deny all the allegations against me,” she stated.

Moonsamy said she does not take alcohol or drugs and that she is “non violent”. She said she is not a flight risk, has no passport and does not have the financial means to relocate to another country. “All my family and emotional ties are in KZN,” she said.

She also said she did not know the identity of the State witnesses in the case.

Moonsamy added that she has “full confidence in the criminal justice system” and will follow her trial through to the end.

The case was postponed to October 30, pending further police investigations.

Domestic violence and assault case

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said in response to an inquiry by The Witness that a case of “domestic violence and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm” was opened at Townhill police station following the incident on August 27.

Ngobese said it was alleged that Moonsamy had allegedly burnt Van Niekerk with boiling water after an argument between them. “The victim sustained multiple burn wounds to the face and neck. The accused was arrested shortly afterwards,” he said.

General manager of Netcare St Anne’s Hospital Louis Joubert declined to comment on Tuesday.

“In light of the protection of personal information, we are not in a position to provide you with any information on the doctor,” Joubert said.

Van Niekerk also came under the media spotlight in February this year when he and a good friend, ophthalmic surgeon Dr Enslin Uys, were involved in a punch-up at Mamma Mia’s pub in Clarendon. The Witness reported at the time that the two well-dressed doctors had got up and started trading blows. The fight moved to the parking area and continued on a car. It did not however last long, and the men soon made peace.

Van Niekerk was quoted as having said the incident was a “boyish squabble” over a personal matter concerning his divorce, but that he and Uys remained good friends. The two doctors apologised for what happened.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  domestic violence

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