“Sentence won’t bring my son back”

Rajivee Soni was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

He should have gotten life, said the father of slain Pietermaritzburg doctor, Bhavish Sewram.
Convicted murderer Rajivee Soni was found guilty for masterminding the 2013 murder of Sewram and sentenced to 30 years in prison by High Court Judge, Jacqueline Hendriques on Friday.
Sewram’s father, Parmanand, said despite the 30-year sentence handed down, the family has suffered a great loss, emotionally, financially and psychologically.
He said they were disappointed with the sentencing as they expected a life sentence.
“I don’t want him to die or anything but given the multitude of what hurt and anguish we have felt, a life sentence would have been fitting,” said the anguished father.
“The sentence handed down is not appropriate for the loss of life. The loss of a child via a despicable deed is a loss that can never be overcome. Nevertheless, we as a family wish to thank the investigating officer and prosecutor for a job well done,” he said.
Sewram’s widow, Yuvadia, said no amount of punishment would ever bring back her husband.
“Soni brought this upon himself through his cowardliness and ego. It is very sad to see that his family and children will suffer the consequences of his evil actions. He will be monitored so he won’t be up to his tricks again,” said Yuvadia.
The Soni family declined to comment.
Hendriques handed down a detailed sentencing taking into consideration factors in aggravation and mitigation of sentencing. Judge Hendriques said Soni acted in accordance to his ego and selfish needs and after committing the crimes to drive Sewram out of town he could have stopped.
“After his plans to humiliate and denigrate Sewram failed, he had sufficient time to call a halt to his plans and put the past behind him. But he went further carefully planning and monitoring another plot to ensure it succeeded, giving no thought to the fact that two families would be affected and lives irreversibly altered,” said Judge Hendriques.
Ruling out the defence’s mitigating submission that the killing was a crime of passion and accepting, for sentencing, the State’s submission that Soni only thought about himself and his need for revenge (and did not have any regard for the consequences that his children and family would have to face in his quest for revenge) when he planned and executed the “cold-blooded killing” of Doctor Bhavish Sewram.
“The accused embarked on a campaign over a long period of time. He did not act in a fit of rage. The accused had sufficient time to stop. Sewram was arrested and had to appear in court. He was shot in full view of his secretary. “His body lay on the cold concrete floor; his body had to be taken to the State mortuary and his father, Parmanand Sewram, had to identify his son. He had to bury his 33- year old son. And they say it is the worst thing to bury a son,” said Judge Hendriques.
Soni’s legal fight, however, is not over yet as he is set to appeal sentencing at the Durban High Court November 21. He will be held at the Napierville Prison.

  AUTHOR
Bongeka Sibisi
Journalist

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