Death on the dance floor 'an accident'

2012-02-24 11:20

Pietermaritzburg - It was suggested in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Thursday that the death of 20-year-old Juran Raman on a nightclub dance floor last year was an accident.

Sherwin Cara, 21, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and denied he was in any way responsible for Raman’s death in the early hours of March 26 last year.

Cara admitted that he had approached Raman and told him to leave his sister, Melanie, alone, as he’d been “troubling” her and her friend on the dance floor.

He alleged in a statement - read to magistrate Fikile Luvuno by his advocate, Gideon Scheltema SC - that Raman unexpectedly lunged at him and struck his hand, which was holding a glass tumbler full of whisky and ice.

The tumbler shattered on the floor “with a big bang”, he said.

Blood spurting

“The deceased seemed to lose his footing or balance, causing him to fall to the floor. At this stage I did not have a clear view … The deceased staggered to his feet and I noticed blood spurting from his neck area. I picked up a broken piece of the glass tumbler in order to prevent someone stepping onto it. I did not assault the deceased in any manner whatsoever and I am not responsible for his death,” he said.

The incident took place in the Vacca Matta nightclub in the Golden Horse Casino.

Cara said he was buying a drink when he had noticed Raman, “who appeared to be drunk” involved in an incident with his sister, Melanie, on the dance floor.

“My sister’s friend, Preshane Tayob, thereupon became involved in a physical altercation with [Raman],” he said.

He said that after buying the drink he approached Raman and told him to leave his sister alone. That was when the incident occurred.

The case has attracted a large crowd of onlookers, many of them supporters of Raman - who was hailed as a promising young cricketer - and his family, wearing T-shirts and carrying posters calling for “Justice for Juran”.

Testifying for the State, the head of security at Vacca Matta, Tatenda Kahlari, said he was supervising the cashing up around 04:00 when he “heard a loud cracking sound of glass”.

He ran towards the sound on the dance floor and saw one of his men already on the scene holding Raman, who was bleeding from his neck.

“My guy pointed … at the accused [Cara] who was standing there with another gentleman … In his [Cara’s] hand was the weapon [a broken glass].”

“I said. ‘What the f***?’ His reply to me as he was back-pedalling was: ‘He was f***ing around with my sister’.”

Kahlari said he had observed a bit of blood on the broken glass and on Cara’s hand. While escorting Cara from the scene he hid the broken glass under a couch as he was afraid it would be “lost in all the commotion”.

Kahlari agreed under cross-examination that he had not been able to find any eye witnesses to the incident.


Golden Horse Casino duty manager Scott Bekker said that while he was monitoring the cashing up in the bar area, he’d noticed an Indian man and a coloured girl dancing.

A “tall Indian man”, who was later identified as Raman, was dancing next to them, and he saw an argument start between the two men.

Bekker told a bouncer, Rishi, to see what was going on. Moments later he noticed Raman “swinging his hand and hitting a glass”.

Bekker ran to the dance floor, but when he got there other security officials were already on the scene. He saw a man he identified as Kahlari holding Raman, who was bleeding from the neck.

Bekker fetched a first-aid kit and kept pressure on the Raman’s wound until paramedics arrived.

Bekker testified that he had at no stage seen Raman falling to the ground.

The case is proceeding on Friday.

  • Mildly_Amused - 2012-02-24 11:32

    *sigh*... Drunk people..

      Johan - 2012-02-24 15:12

      Nightclubs are just a breeding place for trouble!

  • Tulani - 2012-02-24 11:37


      Liam - 2012-02-24 12:15

      Hearsay means that they would be giving evidence based on what somebody else had told them. So, not having direct knowledge. They are all giving their own version of the facts, not hearsay.

      yolie.Landa - 2012-02-24 15:10

      This thing of trying to use bomberstic words Tulani is a problem

      Emily-Jane Elson - 2012-02-24 16:00

      Bomberstic?? Yola, before you accuse others of using big words perhaps you should know what you're saying yourself? Bombastic is the word

      henk63 - 2012-02-25 07:51

      Aijaijai Yola, what was "bomberstic" in what Liam wrote? A little education goes a long way you know. Probably not.

  • procold2 - 2012-02-24 11:49

    boy sherwin i wasnt there but your account just reading here i would put odds on your version happening at 550 to 1,you should not have picked the glass up its a dead give away

      Janice - 2012-02-24 12:11

      True, but someones got a wide awake attorney!!!

      Justme - 2012-02-24 15:13

      Yeah, here a guy gets up in front of him with blood spurting from his neck and this guy calmly ignores him and picks up a piece of glass because he is worried someone would step on it and spurt blood from their foot. Wow!

  • Stan - 2012-02-24 11:51

    Killer dance moves

  • emokgojoe - 2012-02-24 11:57


  • Kagiso Tlhakung - 2012-02-24 12:41

    cara who r u fooling u think we r that stupid to accept that bull? prison is where u belong and whr u r goin. u brutally murdered a youngstar, i knw bullies lyk u, so wat if she talks to ur sister. ur sisters Jezebel ways r goin to land u in jail thats wat u get for not thinking before u act

      Anne-Louise - 2012-02-24 12:53

      spelling, people, spelling.

      allan.ryan - 2012-02-24 15:38

      Turn on your spell check bud!

  • mike.rockey - 2012-02-24 14:06

    When Sophie Ellis Baxter starts playing get off the dance floor!

  • Susan - 2012-02-24 14:32

    I know these people, they would not lie, as for Preshen, bad family,bad company, bad, bad, on drugs...

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-24 14:49

      This is not the place to skinner..

      alexandra.nett - 2012-02-24 17:38


  • John - 2012-02-24 14:34

    Gives new meaning to "Murder on the Dancefloor"..... :|

      leigh.paikin - 2012-02-24 14:44


  • allan.ryan - 2012-02-24 15:56

    I picked up a broken piece of the glass tumbler in order to prevent someone stepping onto it. Yea right!!!! pretty weak one bud!

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-02-24 16:04

    There's an african saying that says , ' Bjala ga bo tswale lefyega" . another one says " Ga bo lefyega ga go lliwe"

      henk63 - 2012-02-25 07:54

      And that says it all, I presume.

  • Michael - 2012-02-24 20:50

    As an ex hotel manager, in germiston, I say hang them all.

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