‘Murder but not rape’ — accused

2016-07-12 13:56

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Pietermaritzburg - A Northdale man says he will plead guilty to murdering a woman whose body was found in Raisethorpe in May, but denies raping her.

Gruesome details emerged on Monday at the bail hearing of the man charged with the murder and rape of 61-year-old Premawathie Ramdhin.

According to an affidavit by the investigating officer Captain Sizwe Makhathini, Ramdhin was found dead on May 28, a day after she was allegedly left to die in her Old Greytown Road home, bleeding profusely and with a bottle inserted into her genitals.

“According to the post mortem report, the deceased [Ramdhin] had also sustained unbelievably severe injuries and the bottle was removed at the government mortuary during the autopsy,” he said.

Makhathini alleged that the man and Ramdhin had been drinking liquor in a group with others.

After a while, she and her alleged assailant went into the house together. When he emerged after “a long time”, he simply closed the burglar gate and rejoined his two friends.

After a while, they noticed blood on the sleeves of his long-sleeved white shirt and asked what had happened. “The accused told them he was having sex with the deceased [Ramdhin] and that [she] was bleeding.”

Makhathini alleged the man then removed the shirt and burnt it under a tree in the presence of friends, and they continued drinking thereafter.

A witness who entered the house after the incident saw Ramdhin lying on her bed. He also saw blood in the washing machine, and “blood patches” on the kitchen wall near her bedroom door. He had assumed she had hurt herself and did not suspect there was anything wrong with her. However, the next day it was discovered that she was dead.

The name of Ramdhin’s alleged assailant — a 52-year-old Northdale man employed in the construction industry as a foreman — cannot be published at this stage because he has not yet formally pleaded to the rape charge.

His attorney Tsepo Masango told Pietermaritzburg Magistrate M. Boikhutso that even though the man is prepared to plead guilty to murder, he denies raping Ramdhin and maintains that she consented to the sexual act.

“They had a love relationship,” Masango told the court.

Magistrate Boikhutso said she would hand down her decision on bail on July 21.

According to the man’s affidavit, he has been working for the same firm for about 10 years, earns R11 000 per month and helps to support his mother and a niece.

He lives with his fiancée and two daughters, one of whom is a teenager and the other in her twenties. The couple have been together for some 20 years.

He said he can afford to pay R10 000 bail.

State prosecutor Thandeka Mkhize urged the magistrate not to grant the man bail, saying the crimes with which he is charged were serious and prevalent.

“We hear in court every day about people killing their partners,” she said.

Mkhize also highlighted the gruesome nature of the murder and rape, and questioned how the man could claim Ramdhin had consented to a bottle being inserted inside her and left there. “Can you call it love when you do something so cruel?” she asked.

Mkhize said the man had made no effort to get Ramdhin medical attention, and had shown “absolutely no remorse”.

“For him it was business as usual. He just left her there and carried on drinking,” she said.

Makhathini further alleged that the accused had visited the crime scene the day Ramdhin’s body was discovered, and asked her brother what had happened. He did not say anything to anyone and left the scene on being told that Ramdhin had died.

He was arrested two weeks later.

Mkhize submitted she found it strange that the man had confessed and said he wanted to plead guilty to the murder charge, but wanted to be released on bail.

Masango replied that it might take a long time for the Director of Public Prosecutions to set a trial date.

“In the meantime, he [the accused] is employed and he has people he is supporting,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  court

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