Dy­ing boy’s plea to al­low jailed dad to visit him

Weekend Witness - - News - IN­GRID OELLERMANN

REL­A­TIVES of a ter­mi­nally ill boy are pre­par­ing to go to court to or­der the prison ser­vices to al­low the child’s killer dad to visit him in hos­pi­tal.

The boy, Dante Govin­d­samy (13), is in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion on a ven­ti­la­tor in the In­ten­sive Care Unit at Grey’s Hos­pi­tal, and has re­port­edly been ask­ing for his dad, Jaisee­lan Govin­d­samy.

Govin­d­samy is serv­ing a 20­year jail term for the mur­der of his wife, Anthea — Dante’s mother — who was stabbed 19 times at How­ick Falls on March 25, 2007.

The young­ster suf­fers from a rare neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der, Leigh’s Syn­drome, and his fam­ily have al­ways known that he has a lim­ited life ex­pectancy.

In 2009 Judge Es­ther Steyn re­jected Govin­d­samy’s de­fence that due to his psy­cho­log­i­cal state at the time, he wasn’t able to con­trol his ac­tions.

She found that the cold­blooded killing — car­ried out in front of wit­nesses in­clud­ing the cou­ple’s two chil­dren and Anthea Govin­d­samy’s best friend, Geral­dine Govin­d­samy — was “goal di­rected and pre­med­i­tated”.

Govin­d­samy’s lawyer, Kevin Chetty, con­firmed yes­ter­day that he has been in­structed to move an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the high court as soon as pos­si­ble to or­der the prison au­thor­i­ties to ar­range for Govin­d­samy to visit his son in the ICU at Grey’s Hos­pi­tal.

A let­ter to the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices re­quest­ing per­mis­sion this week had been met with a “curt re­fusal” by the au­thor­i­ties, he said.

He said the prison replied that it is the fes­tive sea­son and it would be a se­cu­rity risk for them to bring Govin­d­samy to the hos­pi­tal to see his son.

“What is im­por­tant here is what is in the best in­ter­ests of the boy. He is in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion and he can’t breathe with­out the ven­ti­la­tor. Hope­fully hu­man­ity will pre­vail in this case,” said Chetty.

He said the young­ster has been ask­ing to see his fa­ther with whom he has al­ways shared a close bond.

Govin­d­samy’s sis­ter, who asked to be iden­ti­fied only by the name “Tiny”, told The Wit­ness that when­ever Govin­d­samy tele­phones to talk to him from prison the boy’s face “lights up with joy”.

She said the fam­ily had spo­ken to doc­tors, who be­lieved that Dante needed to see his fa­ther at this time.

“In Fe­bru­ary this year he suf­fered a stroke and that caused a lot of dam­age. He can’t walk any more. On Sun­day he was rushed to Grey’s Hos­pi­tal and he is now on a ven­ti­la­tor,” she said.

“My brother has been pun­ished for what he did and he is serv­ing his sen­tence, but the child should not suf­fer for what his fa­ther did,” she said.

An emo­tional Govin­d­samy yes­ter­day also con­tacted The Wit­ness from prison and said he will do “any­thing” to see his son. “I am des­per­ate … he needs me,” he said. Anthea Govin­d­samy’s for­mer brother­in­law, Rowan Down­wood, said that at this stage he and his wife did not want to make any com­ment on the mat­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.