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Narandas murder trial into fifth year

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iol news pic Rajiv Narandas 2

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Rajiv Narandas, the Durban socialite and businessman-turned-bodybuilder. File picture: OMESHNIE NAIDOO

Durban - Yet another postponement in the murder trial of Rajiv Narandas, the Durban socialite and businessman-turned-bodybuilder, has been granted, taking the case into its fifth year.

The Alexandra Magistrate’s Court this week granted the State a return date of April 23 to present its last witness, forensic pathologist Professor Gert Saayman.

The new round of postponements is owing to Narandas’s lawyer, Mannie Witz, presenting a last witness, forensic pathologist Dr Ganas Perumal, on October 30 last year, when judgment was expected.

This prompted State advocate Adele Barnard to request a chance to contest the new evidence by calling Saayman.

Dr Perumal told the court that the stab wound that killed victim Veenand Singh, 32, when a fracas broke out at 4.30am in the car park of the Shoukara nightclub in Sandton on July 13, 2008, was a “superficial” wound typical of a knife used with “mild to moderate” force. It was not consistent with the State’s contention that the weapon was a long serrated knife used with great force.

Medical evidence about Singh’s fatal wound has already been led by two expert witnesses for the State, and Barnard has had a copy of Dr Perumal’s report since February last year, but until October 30 did not see fit to call another forensic pathologist to contest his findings.

“I was hoping the case would be finalised, but if the prosecution wants to question Dr Perumal and call a new witness, it is only fair that it be allowed,” Witz said afterwards.

Narandas is out on R5 000 bail.

On the night in question, Narandas and his friends allegedly set upon Singh and his group after a series of jibes and put-downs between the two groups inside the nightclub.

Paroshen Soorian, a member of Singh’s group, testified that he’d seen Narandas fetch a “weapon” from his car and then hold it above his head.

However, Dr Perumal disputes that a knife penetrated Singh from a vertical angle, as the wound cut through both lungs horizontally.

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