Treasurer did not speak to Soni after murder, says defence

Rajivee Soni in court this week

recently while serving a life sentence, shared a common purpose with Mountain Rise businessman Rajivee Soni, to murder of Raisethorpe physician Dr Bhavish Sewram.
This was the view of defence advocate Christo van Shalkwyk (SC) responding to the state’s closing arguments that Soni and Treasurer had separate motives but common purpose in the planning and execution of Sewram’s 2013 murder.
State prosecutor Johan Du Toit argued that individuals implicated in the murder of Sewram all had something to gain from the death of the doctor. He said Treasurer hired two men, Mfaneseni Nxumalo and Sabelo Dlamini, to kill the doctor.
“The two men Nxumalo and Dlamini, including Treasurer would receive monetary reward while Soni who was consumed with anger from a love affair that his wife Kerusha was having with the doctor, wanted him eliminated,” said du Toit.
The first to be convicted for Sewram’s murder was self-confessed hitman Sabelo Dlamini. Nxumalo and Treasurer were later both convicted in the High Court for their respective roles in Sewram’s murder. Treasurer’s appeal to the Supreme Court but his bid was dismissed.
Van Schalkwyk yesterday told the court that the state had failed to prove that there was a common purpose between the accused and treasurer.
“The state needs to prove that there was common purpose which they have not been able to do so,” said Van Schalkwyk.
Referring to a statement made by fellow murder accused Dlamini, Van Schalkwyk argued that Dlamini was approached by Nxumalo and not the accused (Soni) to have Sewram killed.
“Treasurer is the first link to the common purpose,” Van Schalkwyk said. “If we look at the Dlamini’s evidence he was not approached by Treasurer but by Nxumalo”.
He said Dlamini’s evidence that Nxumalo had promised him R12 000 for the murder plot, was not to kill Sewram but to actually kill Treasurer as the former policeman owed Nxumalo money.
“The deceased was shot because of a man who planned to shoot another because he did not pay him prior, this does not involve the accused,” Van Schalkwyk argued.
Addressing the issue of an alleged phone call and text message between Treasurer and Soni after Sewram’s murder Van Schalkwyk said that Soni’s phone records show no conversation and that he did not get an SMS.
“Who was on the line because it was not Soni, Treasurer did to speak to Soni,” argued Van Schalkwyk saying the records showed a 12 second missed call that fits the post murder time and three minutes thereafter a one minute call was made from Treasurer to “someone else”.
“The significance is that there were calls going somewhere else not to Soni Who did Treasurer speak to? Why wasn’t that investigated. It is glaring error in the police investigation,” concluded Van Schalkwyk.
The matter continues today.

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