Durban - An uThongathi (Tongaat) man accused of murdering his lover absconded from the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday, before his case could be heard.

Sunil Ramkaran was to have appeared in connection with the fatal shooting of Priscilla Pillay, 55, in Desainagar, oThongathi, two weeks ago.

He allegedly dropped her off outside Victoria Hospital and drove off.

Pillay, the secretary for a caravan manufacturer in Pinetown, was admitted to hospital with a bullet wound to the abdomen and was later transferred to Wentworth Hospital where she underwent an operation to remove her colon.

She died of organ failure three days later.

Ramkaran was arrested the next day by a local security company and handed to police.

Pillay’s husband, Seela Sitharay, told the Daily News outside court on Monday that Ramkaran had paused momentarily to read one of the placards that friends of the victim had been holding outside the court, calling for justice to be served. He then walked into the court building accompanied by his mother.

Sitharay claimed Ramkaran had approached him later inside the courtroom and asked him if he was glad that he was going to jail.

When the court adjourned for 15 minutes, Ramkaran slipped out undetected and did not return.

“We were not aware that he had left the courtroom until the case was called up. The court orderly called his name three times. His mother sat in the courtroom stunned,” Sitharay said.

“He gave her the slip as well.”

The case was adjourned to May 26. Sitharay said a warrant of arrest had been issued for the accused and his R2 000 bail was forfeited to the State.

“We are pleased with the investigating officer’s handling of the case. However, I am going to have sleepless nights knowing he (Ramkaran) is still out there,” Sitharay said.

Ramkaran was previously granted R2 000 bail with restrictions, which stated that he was not to interfere with witnesses and family of the deceased.

He was also warned by the court at the time to stay away from the oThongathi area, which the family claim has been breached.

They said they would hand over photographic evidence to the court showing Ramkaran shopping in the town.

Daily News