Families clash as accused gets bail

2014-06-11 00:00

TEMPERS flared at court yesterday after a magistrate granted bail to Northdale man Luvesan Perumal (36), who is accused of stabbing his former best friend, Kevindren Moodley (39), to death with a pair of scissors.

Magistrate Ntsoaki Ndawonde ruled that it was in the interests of justice to release Perumal on bail of R1 500 on certain conditions.

The court heard he is to temporarily stay at the police barracks in Pietermaritzburg, or move to an alternative address in another town to allay the investigating officer’s fears over his safety.

Outside court Moodley’s brother, Nicky, said he was very upset that his brother’s alleged killer was given bail.

“He stabbed my brother 14 times with scissors. We had to wash the body and that is when we saw that there are 14 wounds. He [Perumal] didn’t sustain a single injury, so how can that be self defence?” said Moodley.

Other relatives and friends ganged up against Perumal’s family group, shouting abuse at them in the court foyer after bail was granted.

A woman who identified herself only as a friend of the Moodleys repeatedly shouted at Perumal’s family to “bring money and pay his bail because he can’t hide forever”.

“There is no justice any more. How can court give someone R1 500 bail for murder? It’s a pittance,” said another man.

Moodley’s family said they didn’t know what caused the two friends to fall out before the stabbing.

They said the two had been close friends since childhood and Perumal was treated as part of the Moodley family.

Moodley’s supporters wore red T-shirts with the words “Justice for Kevi” emblazoned on them and the court was earlier handed a petition signed by over 280 people calling for Perumal to be denied bail.

Perumal’s attorney, Nasen Naicker, asked investigating officer Sergeant Sheldon Norman if he’d checked on the validity of all the signatories to the petition and knew they were “live people”; members of the gallery responded in chorus behind him: “We’re here”.

Norman opposed Perumal’s bail application on grounds that he was considered to be a potential danger to the community; that his safety could not be guaranteed if he was released as well as the nature of the crime.

He said he believed the murder was premeditated because the victim’s brother alleged he had been phoned by Perumal the day before the murder, and Perumal told him he would kill his brother when next he saw him.

Under cross-examination by Naicker, Norman agreed this was “hearsay” and wasn’t corroborated by independent evidence.

He also admitted that police had recovered a bush knife from the scene of the crime, as well as an Okapi knife from Moodley’s pocket and said they were still investigating that aspect of the case.

Naicker said Perumal will claim he acted in self defence.

He admits having called Moodley’s brother the day before but maintains his purpose was to ask him to “talk” to Kevin, who was allegedly planning to attack Perumal.

Pietermaritzburg attorney, Siva Chetty, whose firm is representing the interests of Moodley’s brother and family, said they respect the court’s decision to grant Perumal bail, but will continue to do their utmost to ensure that “the correct facts” are placed before the court when the case comes to trial and that justice is done.

“We are aware that the accused is related to some policemen at Mountain Rise and the family is concerned that, given that affinity, justice won’t be served,” he said.

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