Treasurer hopes to be off hook soon

2015-09-03 09:00
Parmanand and Nalini Sewram.

Parmanand and Nalini Sewram. (Ian Carbutt)

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WHILE former policeman Brian Treasurer is hoping he will soon be off the hook for the 2013 murder of local doctor Bhavish Sewram, his co-accused Mfaniseni Nxumalo is ready to testify in his defence.

Treasurer’s attorney Bob Bahadur told Judge Anton van Zyl after the state closed its case yesterday, that he intends bringing an application for Treasurer’s discharge when the case resumes today.

Advocate Di Franklin, representing Nxumalo, however said she will not be bringing a similar application on his behalf in light of the evidence that has been led against him.

She added that Nxumalo is “keen and ready” to start testifying in his defence.

Meanwhile, the final state witness to testify for the prosecution in the trial yesterday was a local “fishing buddy” of Treasurer’s. Yogendren Govender testified that a few weeks after the doctor’s murder, Treasurer had entrusted a packet full of cash to him and asked him keep it in his safe for a couple of days.

Govender said Treasurer simply told him at the time that he “had some problems with the law”.

“He is my friend and I never asked him any questions … I took the money and I left it in my safe,” he said.

Although Treasurer had initially told Govender that the packet contained “about R90 000”, when Govender subsequently counted the money together with Treasurer’s sister, it had emerged that there was a total of R72 000 in the packet made up of R100 and R200 notes, according to Govender.

Govender said a few days after he received the packet of money, Treasurer telephoned him asking him to hand R15 000 of the cash over to his sister outside court.

He did so.

Later the same afternoon Treasurer again called him and told him to take all the money he had given him and give it to his sister. Govender said he went to the sister’s home and they had counted the money which added up to R72 000. This included the R15 000 he had already handed over to her.

Govender said he couldn’t remember exactly when Treasurer came and handed him the packet of money. It was, however, before he was arrested for the doctor’s murder, he said.

He said Treasurer was unemployed at the time. “But he did tell me he had a trucking business,” he added.

In reply to questions by Treasurer’s lawyer, Govender agreed that he and Treasurer are “still friends to this day” and still go fishing together.

Both Treasurer and Nxumalo have pleaded not guilty to involvement in Sewram’s murder on May 13, 2013.

Sewram was shot three times soon after he locked up his surgery in Chota Motala Road and got into his bakkie which was parked outside.

Self-confessed hitman Sabelo Dlamini, who gave evidence for the state in the trial, told the court he had been asked by Nxumalo to kill the doctor.

But, according to him, Treasurer drove him and Nxumalo to the surgery on the night of the shooting, had described the doctor to him and advised him that he should shoot him after he saw the surgery light switch off and the doctor leaving.

Treasurer also promised he would be paid R12 000, which he did receive after the shooting.

Dlamini alleged that before he alighted from the car to shoot the doctor, Treasurer cocked and handed him the firearm he used. After the shooting, Treasurer allegedly telephoned someone and said the “job was done”.

Treasurer denies the allegations.

In his plea he said he gave Nxumalo and Dlamini a lift to the Raisethorpe area on the night in question because Dlamini wanted to fetch money from his girlfriend.

The case is proceeding.

DEFENCE applications for an accused person to be acquitted at the end of the prosecution’s case are not unusual.

To succeed, the defence must persuade the court that there is insufficient evidence on record at the close of the state’s case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused could be found guilty of the offence for which he is on trial

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court

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