Magistrate tries to save suspect in cell

2013-03-11 09:08

Durban - A Durban magistrate tried desperately to save the life of a suspect in court holding cells, a court official has told.

When Anand Maharaj heard that murder accused Alex Soobben, 61, was in trouble in the holding cells below his court room, he did not hesitate and immediately went to help him, reported the Sunday Tribune.

Maharaj knelt on the dirty cell floor to perform first aid and CPR, trying to revive the dying man.
It was all in vain, however, and Soobben died of cardiac arrest.

“I have newfound respect for him after seeing him in action today. He was determined to revive the prisoner even when it was clear the man was dead,” said a court official who didn’t want to be named.

Soobben, a taxi driver, was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend in 2007. He had been on the run until his arrest in January.

He had been held at Westville Prison.

  • peter.j.cock - 2013-03-11 09:18

    Why try to save him..... All murderers should die themselves.

      Jacques Kleinhans - 2013-03-11 10:47

      I would've agreed with you if this happened after the suspect had been found guilty. Not while the case is still on... And I gather that it was still on since the deceased was labelled a suspect.

      Michael Zoast Jennings - 2013-03-11 11:00

      alas Peter. only hope you never are accused of any crime. the assumption that everyone appearing in court on a charge must be guilty is so far wrong. maybe he was innocent? if found guilty, then, of course, he should be properly and emphatically punished. God Help you should you ever be arrested without cause....

  • Julius Naledi - 2013-03-11 09:27

    Big UP for magistrate on trying to save a life. Encouraging story indeed. He deserves a bells...

  • andy.beak - 2013-03-11 09:30

    Gotta save the dude, then judge him to life in prison. Can't let him escape the terrible conditions in South African jails! - 2013-03-11 09:36

      Our jails aren't terrible enough! People are still prepared to do the crime with no concern about the time. If it was more like jails in our neighbouring states, criminals would wise up and go straight!

  • Anine De Kock - 2013-03-11 09:32


      atholl.canterbury - 2013-03-11 12:15

      Anand Maharaj works in the Regional court as a senior magistrate. When Anand Maharaj's name is connected to this type of incident .... the people who know him will not be surprised ... Anand Maharaj has only one word connected to all the judgments that he has made, even to the people who have been on the unsuccessful side of him. That word is r-e-s-p-e-c-t. A magistrate of rare breed.

  • Bianca-Anne P. Moll - 2013-03-11 10:09

    Encouraging to read such stories.

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2013-03-11 10:16

    Commendable. Have to confess, I don't know if I would have done the same.

  • Swapie - 2013-03-11 10:21

    Dirty cell floor? Surely the prisoners can clean the cells. Keep them busy!

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