Pietermaritzburg - Emotions ran high when the man accused of stabbing his best friend to death with a pair of scissors was granted bail on Tuesday.
Luvesan Perumal was granted bail of R1 500, to the dismay of the family of Kevin Moodley, the man he is alleged to have slain.
Moodley’s relatives were at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court wearing red T-shirts with his picture emblazoned on it.
They said Moodley and Perumal had been close friends for 10 years.
A relative told the Daily News they believed the justice system had failed them.
“If the law refuses to mete out justice, we will be forced to,” said the relative, who declined being named.
The State had opposed Perumal’s bail application on the grounds that his safety could not be guaranteed if he was released.
The investigating officer, Sergeant Sheldon Norman, who testified in opposition to bail, told the court that Moodley’s family and friends in Northdale were angry.
“The situation is quite volatile. The community threatened to kill the accused in the presence of police officers. For his own safety and in the interests of justice, I am opposing bail,” Norman said.
He said he had received a petition with more than 280 signatures opposing Perumal’s bail.
However, Perumal’s lawyer, Nesan Naicker, challenged the petition and asked Norman to prove that all signatures were verified and credible.
Norman could not do so.
Moodley was walking on Cochin Circle on May 27 when he was allegedly confronted by Perumal and stabbed.
Norman testified that ac-cording to investigations, Moodley and Perumal had argued and a scuffle ensued.
Perumal then allegedly stabbed Moodley multiple times with a pair of scissors.
In granting Perumal bail, magistrate Ntsoaki Ndawande found that the State had not substantiated grounds for opposing bail and said that Perumal would be staying at an address unknown to Moodley’s relatives. The case has been adjourned.