Drag racing star shot dead

2010-10-22 00:00

THE murder of a Pietermaritzburg businessman and a passionate drag racer in the early hours of yesterday morning left clients, friends and family members shocked and devastated.

Clients arrived at Kushendran ­Acharrie’s Kush Conversions business at the corner of Boom and St Andrew’s streets hours after his body had been taken to the mortuary only to find the shop closed with a notice on the door telling them about the tragedy.

Acharrie was shot in the chest and died while paramedics were trying to revive him.

Two men attacked him soon after he and his wife, Pratisha, got into their BMW 325i to leave their business just before 1 am.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the two men flung open the driver’s door before firing one shot at Acharrie.

“Both men pulled Kushendran’s limp body out of the vehicle and the armed man then got into the driver’s seat and attempted to start the vehicle, but the car would not start. The man then got out of the vehicle and removed Kushendran’s firearm and wallet from his pocket,” said Jeevan.

A shocked Pratisha got behind the wheel and drove to a nearby breakdown service in Victoria Road to report the incident to a friend.

“The friend then drove her back to the scene and they contacted the police,” Jeevan said.

Said Gugu Nkabini, “I have been his client since he opened this business sometime last year … when I had just bought my BMW.”

Acharrie specialised in fixing BMWs.

Shabir Ismail, who owns Central Automotive Engineering in St Andrew’s Street, learnt about the incident when he opened his shop at about 7.30 am.

“I was shocked and dismayed … it’s still unbelievable,” said Ismail.

Ismail had known Acharrie since the latter was a manager at SMG BMW about 15 years ago.

Friends and family members gathered at Acharrie’s Northdale house to console each other.

Acharrie’s close friend, Desmond Govenden, arrived at the scene to find paramedics attending to him.

“He has been a drag racer since he was 18 years old. He was a member of KZN Drag Racing.

“On Saturday he was going to Johannesburg to participate in a competition,” said Govenden.

Acharrie’s elder sister, who asked for her name to be withheld, said he leaves a three-year-old son, Sabian, and two-month-old daughter, Divanya.

She said the funeral service will be held at TPA Hall in Balhambra Way at 11.30 am on Sunday.

Anyone with information about the murder should contact Warrant Officer Robin Mays at 033 845 2750 or 082 413 8474. Callers who wish to remain anonymous should contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

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