RIZWANA SHEIK UMAR
Two prominent Durban families have finally made peace, but the reconciliation could have little or no bearing on the futures of the four young men who are due to be sentenced for attempted murder next month.
Socialite and body builder Rajiv Narandas and his friends, Jenaidé Charles, Samuel Parusnath and Avishkar Jagganath, who were convicted of trying to kill prominent businessman, Roy Moodley’s son, Lance, earlier this year, have apologised for their actions. During the reconciliation, Roy Moodley agreed to testify on behalf of the boys in the hope the magistrate will deliver a lenient sentence.
Commenting on the impact Moodley’s testimony will have on the sentences awaiting the four, Tebello Thabane a law lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said: “Moodley’s views that a prison sentence will not help the accused and that he will propose a lenient sentence will be taken into consideration, but the court will impose a sentence that reflects the degree of moral blameworthiness of the accused.
“The court will seek to be consistent with other sentences of a similar crime.”
Thabane said although it augered well for the accused that they sought forgiveness from the Moodleys and he (Roy) duly forgave them, mitigation of sentence is mostly about the accused and what he or she has done and how they have conducted themselves.
A meeting between the four accused, their fathers and Moodley and his son was called last month by Krish Narandas, Rajiv’s father, with the help of mutual family friend, Ahmed Asmal.
Asmal who was instrumental in offering the olive branch, said Narandas called him last month and asked if he could facilitate a meeting between the boys and Roy Moodley.
Asmal said Moodley agreed, unconditionally.
Over tea at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, Narandas and his friends apologised to the Moodleys for what they had done, shook hands and even exchanged phone numbers.
Moodley said he was angry when the incident happened but a lot of time had passed allowing him to assess the implications of the boys being imprisoned.
“I was ready to reconcile at any time. I know how to handle my anger. These boys are not teenagers anymore, I can see they have matured.
“Some of them are breadwinners in their homes. If they go to jail, we wouldn’t be punishing just one person, but an entire family.
“Taking into account everything they have been through in the past three years, I think they have already served their sentences,” Moodley said.
Moodley said his son was also glad to put this incident behind him.
Speaking to the Daily News Rajiv Narandas said: “If I could do it all over again I would have reconciled the day of the incident at Blue Lagoon.
“But everything happened so fast. Once the lawyers stepped in we were instructed not to communicate with each other. We couldn’t really do anything.
“The boys and I have grown up and we found it necessary to put all this behind us. It was a relief speaking to Lance and his father,”
In April Narandas, Jagganath, Charles and Parusnath were found guilty of the attempted murder of Lance Moodley during a fight at Blue Lagoon in March 2008.
Parusnath was also found guilty of malicious damage to property.
Sentencing is expected to be handed down on September 13.
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