Doctor’s ‘affair’ outed

2013-08-13 00:00

STARTLING allegations of infidelity, assault and extortion emerged yesterday from an affidavit filed by businessman Rajivee Soni (30) when he appeared in court for the May 13 murder of Pietermaritzburg doctor Bhavish Sewram.

Soni handed himself over to police investigators at the regional court yesterday in terms of an undertaking given at the weekend by his lawyer, Naren Sangham.

He was later released on bail of R100 000, which was granted by regional magistrate Bhekizitha Phoswa on various conditions.

Immaculately dressed in a suit and tie, Soni appeared in the dock for the first time, along with the men he stands accused of hiring to kill Sewram — Sabelo Advocate Dlamini (24), Mfaniseni Wiseman Nxumalo (34) and former policeman Brian Treasurer (52).

Treasurer is on bail of R50 000, but the other accused are still in custody.

However, the court was told yesterday that they too now have a private attorney, Udesh Vather, representing them and they are set to apply for bail on August 28.

The court was told that Vather has also been briefed to represent Treasurer at future hearings.

In his affidavit in support of his bail application yesterday, Soni revealed that although he and his wife had experienced marital discord over an alleged affair between her and Sewram in 2011, this was in the past and she is at present four months pregnant with their second child.

He said he and the doctor, and the doctor’s wife, shook hands during a meeting in October, 2012.

“We had agreed that the past would be put behind us, and we would look forward and try to rekindle our friendship,” he said.

Soni says the friendship that had existed between him and Sewram “did not totally normalise”, but the hurt and animosity he’d harboured towards the doctor had certainly dissipated.

“We were at least civil with one another and, on at least three occasions, we independently happened to be at restaurants together, where we exchanged greetings and remained in the restaurants without any incident,” he said.

Soni said he and Sewram were previously close friends for a number of years and regularly socialised with a group of acquaintances.

When he suspected Sewram was involved in an affair with his wife, he had called Sewram’s parents-in-law and told them what he’d discovered.

At a meeting at their home in Allandale, he alleged Sewram’s mother-in-law had severely assaulted the doctor in his presence with a sjambok, “until his contact lenses were dislodged and fell to the ground”.

Soni claimed that Sewram’s mother-in-law and Sewram’s wife then turned on his wife and also assaulted her with a sjambok.

“When it became apparent that the wrath of the deceased’s mother-in-law was being vented on the deceased [Sewram] and my wife, I, together with my brother-in-law, intervened and stopped the assault and indicated … that we had come to discuss the matter and not to assault either the deceased or my wife.”

“Despite our protestations, the assault and vulgarity continued unabated, until I was forced with my brother-in-law to leave the house with my wife,” he said.

Soni said his wife had declined to lay charges after the incident.

He had been emotionally devastated by the revelation of his wife’s infidelity and said he’d instituted a divorce action.

During the divorce proceedings, his wife had sought a domestic violence interdict against him, and he against her and her parents, he said.

Soni said he had stopped divorce proceedings on May 18 last year and also withdrew proceedings for damages against Sewram arising from the affair.

“Since my wife and I decided that we would come together and work at our marriage, our marriage has progressively strengthened,” he said.

• Sewram’s widow, Yuvadia, said in a statement after yesterday’s hearing that she denies all allegations made by Soni against her, and alleged he was trying to divert attention from himself. She added that she has never been charged with assault or any other offence.


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