No bail for rape, murder accused

Magistrate shocked by brutal assault on lover

- Xolani Dlamini

A MAN who allegedly beat his girlfriend to death and inserted a beer bottle into her vagina was denied bail by the Pietermari­tzberg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Shaun Kara Ranchod, 52, is facing charges of murder and rape after Premawathi Ramdhin, 61, was found dead at her home in Pietermari­tzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, in May.

She had sustained severe injuries and was found with a beer bottle inserted into her vagina. A postmortem revealed that she died of her injuries, which included internal bleeding.

Ranchod was apprehende­d a day after the body was discovered.

He told the court yesterday that he intended pleading guilty to the murder charge, but would deny having raped Ramdhin on the basis that they were in a relationsh­ip.

Ranchod’s lawyer Tshepo Masango told the court that although his client was confessing to the murder, it did not prove the deceased died at Ranchod’s hands.

Masango said the court should grant bail to his client because he was not a flight risk and had never been out of the country.

State prosecutor Thandeka Mkhize was unmoved and urged Magistrate Mummsy Boikhutso to deny the accused bail, raising the issue of women abuse in South Africa.

“The applicant didn’t show any remorse. We can’t guarantee the safety of witnesses. People are angry out there, the court cannot guarantee his safety too. He also has two previous conviction­s – one of assault and [one] drugrelate­d,” Mkhize said.

Boikhutso said Ranchod was “wild”, drinking alcohol with his friends after the brutal assault.

“The accused was very much aware that the deceased was in trouble when he left her bleeding from her private parts with a bottle inserted into her. But to him it was business as usual,” she said.

Boikhutso said what Ranchod did was inhumane and shocking: “The accused heard the deceased screaming but left her to die. This type of violence is becoming popular in South African courts and, worse, it is done by people who are in love relationsh­ips. This needs to be stopped.”

She said the only way to fight the scourge was to give severe punishment to perpetrato­rs.

“The accused is not the correct candidate to go back to the community. If he is convicted he is going to get a lengthy sentence.”

Bail was denied and the matter postponed to August 30.

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