About-turn in case of man ac­cused of killing cy­clists

Post - - News - NADIA KHAN

THERE was chaos out­side a Dur­ban court­room on Fri­day af­ter Omesh Ram­narain, who is ac­cused of knock­ing down and killing two cy­clists on the Ruth First free­way (M4 north­ern free­way) last Fe­bru­ary, pleaded not guilty.

Ram­narain, 33, had ear­lier in­di­cated his in­ten­tion to plead guilty.

He in­stead fired his le­gal team and stated he wanted the mat­ter to pro­ceed to trial.

Ram­narain is fac­ing charges of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, reck­less and neg­li­gent driv­ing and driv­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

His new le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Murray Pit­man, re­quested the mat­ter be ad­journed to early Oc­to­ber for the ac­cused to sort out his per­sonal af­fairs.

An unim­pressed mag­is­trate Anand Ma­haraj post­poned the trial, which was sched­uled to be­gin on Fri­day, and ac­cepted his plea of not guilty.

He said the mat­ter had al­ready been ad­journed twice be­fore and warned that the case would pro­ceed next month whether Ram­narain was ready or not.

The fam­i­lies of cy­clists Richard da Silva, 46, and Jared Dwyer, 36, who died at the scene of the ac­ci­dent, stormed out of the court­room.

Dur­ing a pre­vi­ous ap­pear­ance, Da Silva’s mother and Dwyer’s fa­ther had hugged a then re­morse­ful-look­ing Ram­narain, say­ing they had for­given him.

But af­ter chang­ing his plea, the cy­clists, friends and fam­ily shouted that the ac­cused was “play­ing games” and that he was a “coward”.

A tear­ful Sonya Fer­reira, Da Silva’s part­ner, said the fam­ily had been pre­par­ing to hear the judg­ment and sen­tence.

“He (Ram­narain) had come across as deeply re­morse­ful through­out the pre­vi­ous pro­ceed­ings, but to­day he showed us it was all just an act. We lost our loved ones. All we wanted was clo­sure and now we have to come back to court. This is not fair.”

Ram­narain asked that po­lice es­cort him out of court. His fam­ily de­clined to com­ment.

The mat­ter was ad­journed to next month, when it will be de­cided if the case will pro­ceed to trial in De­cem­ber.

Omesh Ram­narain (cen­tre), ac­cused of killing two cy­clists, out­side the court with his newly ap­pointed le­gal team, Reg Thomas and Murray Pit­man.


Chaos erupted out­side the court­room as the ac­cused’s fam­ily and those of the de­ceased got into an ar­gu­ment.

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