Fire attack accused appears in court

2018-04-26 16:15
Accused Nathen Rampersad appeared in court on Wednesday.

Accused Nathen Rampersad appeared in court on Wednesday. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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The 30-year-old man who is charged with assaulting his girlfriend and then setting her alight, stood impassively in the dock in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Nathen Rampersad of Northdale is charged with arson and the attempted murder of his 17-year-old girlfriend, who is fighting for her life in Edendale Hospital. Her body has been badly burned.

Rampersad has appointed a legal aid attorney, Bonisiwe Gasa, to represent him.

She placed nothing on record before the magistrate after consulting with her client on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Patty Davids asked for the matter to be adjourned to May 15 for a bail application. Magistrate Vincent Ncanyana remanded Rampersad in custody until then.

Rampersad’s father was present to support him.

During a short break, Rampersad was heard telling his father to go and see how the teenager was doing in hospital.

When Davids heard this she saw red, and reprimanded them both, telling them they were not allowed to go anywhere near the helpless woman.

According to a police statement issued on the day of the incident, the couple allegedly had a fight on Monday morning due to the young woman not wanting to clean the room. Rampersad is alleged thereafter to have beaten her with an iron pipe, poured petrol on her and set her alight, according to the police report.

The couple lived in a double-storey house which was also occupied by various other tenants. The fire tore through the house, leaving 54 tenants, including 17 children, destitute. Tents have been provided to them.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  attempted murder

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