Acharrie: Judgment reserved

2015-08-17 09:07
Kushendran Acharrie.

Kushendran Acharrie. (File )

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THE prosecution in the trial of two men found guilty of murdering well-known Pietermaritzburg drag race enthusiast and businessman, Kushendran Acharrie in 2010, has urged a full bench of the Pietermaritzburg high court to confirm the convictions of both men.

Each of them is serving an effective jail sentence of life plus 15 years’ imprisonment.

Judge Shyam Gyanda, Judge Themba Sishi and acting judge Venesen Naidoo reserved judgment on the appeal on Friday.

State advocate Dheelan Naidoo urged the court to find that versions given by the two accused, Mondli Maphanga and Solethu Maduna, at their trial were false, and were correctly rejected by trial court Judge Igna Stretch.

He said in convicting the men the trial court relied mainly on the evidence of an accomplice, Moreoa Molefe.

Although Molefe’s evidence had to be treated cautiously Naidoo argued that he had been an “impressive witness” compared to Maphanga and Maduna.

He submitted that Molefe didn’t fabricate any evidence against Maphanga and Maduna and if he had wanted to do so he could have given even more damning testimony against them.

He also submitted that various facts corroborated his testimony.

Advocate Dalene Barnard for the defence however submitted that the court should not rely on Molefe’s evidence, and that he was untruthful. She said it was clear that he expected the benefit of being released from prison if he incriminated Maphanga and Maduna.

Acharrie — a qualified BMW mechanic who specialised in modifying cars for drag racing — was shot in front of his wife, Pratishta, on the night of October 21, 2010 in St Andrew’s Street outside the garage he owned, Kush Conversions.

The couple had two children, including a two-month-old baby, at the time of the incident.

They had been out celebrating Pratishta’s birthday when the attack happened after they stopped briefly outside Acharrie’s business in the early hours of the morning.

According to evidence at the trial their specially modified red BMW sports car had attracted the attention of the accused at a garage.

They then followed the couple with the intention of robbing them.

Pratishta Acharrie described in court how the robbers shot her husband in his car, dragged him out of the vehicle and dumped him on the road. When the attackers failed to start the car they fled with Pratishta’s cellphone and her husband’s gun.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court

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