Shots ‘sounded like fireworks’

2015-08-26 11:26
Brian Treasurer

Brian Treasurer (File)

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A MAN who lives near the surgery where local doctor Bhavish Sewram was gunned down on May 13, 2013, told the high court yesterday he heard three gunshots go off that night which “sounded like fireworks”.

Keith Naidoo was one of three witnesses who testified yesterday at the trial of ex-policeman Brian Treasurer and his co-accused Mfaniseni Nxumalo who are charged with the doctor’s murder.

The other two witnesses were policemen from the Local Criminal Record Centre who attended the murder scene — Warrant Officer Nkosinathi Khumalo and Warrant Officer Sean Downing.

Naidoo told Judge Anton van Zyl that when the shooting happened he was talking to a relative at a tyre shop in the same street.

He turned and saw only one person on the street at the time, a man “walking casually across the road” in his direction. “I noticed he had on a striped hooded top,” he said.

Naidoo said he could not see the man’s face. “When I saw this guy he was walking casually, but when he reached the footpath [leading up towards Fusion Lounge] that’s when he started running,” he said.

Naidoo said he could see car lights at the top of the footpath “on Gogas Road”. He did not see the person get into a vehicle or see where he went after this, he added. “I ran to the doctor’s van and everyone was surrounding the van,” he said.

Naidoo said he remained at the scene until police “blocked off the roads” and told everyone to move away. A lot of ambulances arrived at the scene.

The state alleges that Sewram was shot three times as he was about to get into his bakkie parked outside his surgery that night.

Warrant Officer Nkosinathi Khumalo from the LCRC confirmed that he took photographs of the crime scene and Sewram’s body lying next to his bakkie. He said he believed the doctor was already dead when the photographs were taken.

He told Judge van Zyl he had picked up three spent cartridges at the scene and placed them into a forensic bag. He later sent them for ballistics testing, along with a bullet head which was removed from Sewram’s body during the post mortem.

Khumalo was extensively cross examined by Treasurer’s defence attorney Bob Bahadur about the cartridges and bullet head and the process that was followed to ensure that the evidence reached the ballistics unit without the possibility that it could be contaminated or tampered with, or confused with other evidence.
Bahadur, who is assisted by a ballistics expert, has told the court the defence will “dispute the ballistics evidence” in the case.

At the start of the case, state advocate Johan du Toit told the court that the prosecution will set out to prove that the three cartridges picked up at the crime scene by Khumalo, and the bullet head taken from Sewram’s body, matched a firearm found in possession of Mfanisensi Nxumalo when he was arrested at his home in Mason informal settlement at Copesville on June 30, 2013.

The case is proceeding.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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