Bid for passport refused

2014-09-19 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG businessman Rajivee Soni’s application for his passport to be returned to him was refused by the high court yesterday.

Soni, accused of ordering the murder of prominent city doctor Bhavish Sewram, wanted to travel with his family to India where they will be performing a ritual prayer.

Sewram was shot and killed in front of his Chota Motala Road surgery in May last year. Soni is out on R100 000 bail, which was granted on conditions including that he surrender his passport.

Soni said he had taken a vow in 2006 on the death of his father to perform the ritual, and, as the only son, he is the only person who can do it.

His attorney, Naren Sangham, asked that his passport be returned to him for the period between November 1 and January 6. He said Soni, who has strong emotional, business and family ties in South Africa, is not a flight risk.

Soni is a man of substantial means, with a large fixed assets base and there could be no reasonable prospect of him leaving the country and evading his trial.

However, prosecutor Sandesh Sankar asked why Soni was only telling the court now about a vow made years ago. He said Soni could flee the prosecution if granted the passport, even though he has family and business interests in South Africa.

The judge agreed and refused to give Soni back his passport.

Soni was charged with Sewram’s murder, along with former policeman Brian Treasurer, Mfaniseni Nxumalo and Sabelo Advocate Dlamini, who pleaded guilty and is now serving a 25-year sentence.

Dlamini implicated Nxumalo and Treasurer in his plea statement.

Treasurer and Nxumalo will be tried in February next year, and Soni, whose trial was separated, in March.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.