Sewrams seeking closure

2015-08-30 23:02
Parmanand and Nalini Sewram.

Parmanand and Nalini Sewram. (Ian Carbutt)

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AS evidence unfolds in the high court trial of two alleged killers of murdered Pietermaritzburg doctor Bhavish Sewram, his parents and widow are putting on brave faces although the process is painful for them.

“My heart is in pieces listening to the evidence,” Sewram’s widow Yuvadia said. “When I saw the gun in court for the first time, my blood ran cold.”

The doctor’s parents, Parmanand and Nalini Sewram, attend the case daily. They find it helps them to deal with their son’s death even though it is a painful experience. “We are not seeking vengeance, but we just want justice for our son; then we can get closure,” Parmanand said.

In the dock are former policeman Brian Treasurer and Mfaniseni Nxumalo, who are charged with arranging Sewram’s assassination for money.

The court heard evidence yesterday from Durban dog unit member Sergeant Pedro Rodrigues that Nxumalo was arrested in his room at Mason informal settlement at Copesville in the early hours of June 30, 2013. Nxumalo was holding the alleged murder weapon in his hand.

“Someone pointed out the house. We kicked down the door and penetrated the room. We knew he was armed. It was a small room and as we entered, I saw him sit up in bed and he had the firearm in his hand. I immediately engaged him and took the firearm away from him,” said Rodrigues.

The court has heard evidence that the gun, a pistol, was allegedly used to shoot Sewram as he got into his bakkie outside his surgery.

The prosecution alleges that Treasurer had been tasked with finding a hitman to carry out the murder by a local businessman, Rajivee Soni, who suspected the doctor of having an affair with his wife.

Treasurer in turn allegedly hired Nxumalo, as well as the eventual triggerman, Sabelo Dlamini.

Dlamini, who pleaded guilty last year, is expected to give evidence for the state in the case next week.

Soni’s trial is already part-heard before Judge Jacqueline Henriques and is due to resume next month.

Treasurer and Nxumalo claimed in their pleas before Judge Anton van Zyl at the start of their trial this week that they had nothing to do with the doctor’s murder.

Each pointed a finger at the other.

Nxumalo, who was renovating a crèche on behalf of Treasurer, claimed the ex-policeman gave him a gun to “protect the crèche”.

But he alleges Treasurer fetched it three weeks before the doctor’s murder, and two days before the shooting asked him if he would “be able to kill somebody”.

He said “no”.

Nxumalo claims that he accompanied Treasurer and Dlamini in the former’s car on the night of the murder, but was unaware of any plans to shoot the doctor.

He says he saw Treasurer hand a gun to Dlamini who alighted, and he thereafter heard gunshots.

Dlamini confessed on his return to the car that he shot someone.

Nxumalo alleges the police found the alleged murder weapon in his possession because it had fallen out of a bag of money he was given by Treasurer in payment for work he had done, and Treasurer had not yet fetched it.

His advocate, Di Franklin, suggested to Rodrigues yesterday that Nxumalo had not been holding the gun when he was arrested, but had pointed it out to police “under a dresser”.

This was denied by Rodrigues.

Treasurer has admitted giving Dlamini and Nxumalo a lift to the area where the doctor was shot, but said he was told they wanted to fetch money from Dlamini’s girlfriend.

He was unaware of the doctor’s murder.

He also took Dlamini and Nxumalo to visit a local Nyanga to obtain muthi the same night, but claims he did not know there was any link to the murder.

He denies Soni hired him to have the doctor killed.

The case is proceeding

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court

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