Sharika Regchand
News Editor
2 minute read
26 Apr 2021
06:17

Pietermaritzburg teen tells of seeing her friend assaulted, set on fire

Sharika Regchand

A 17-year-old girl testified in the Pietermaritzburg regional court that she saw attempted murder accused Nathen Rampersad lift a container and pour it’s contents onto his girlfriend.

A 17-year-old girl testified in the Pietermaritzburg regional court that she saw attempted murder accused Nathen Rampersad lift a container and pour it’s contents onto his girlfriend.

She also said she saw his girlfriend, who was 17-years-old at the time, on fire.

Rampersad was standing trial on Friday for allegedly attempting to murder his girlfriend on April 23, 2018, at their home in Lahore Road.It is also alleged that he beat her with an iron rod because she did not want to do household chores.

“We know his [Rampersad’s] family background and she fears the family may intimidate her after school or something. She doesn’t want to face him.”
Father of the in-camera witness.

The teenager was badly burnt and spent weeks in hospital recuperating.

Rampersad has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The girl, giving evidence, said that she screamed for help when she saw the girlfriend on fire. At the time, she and the couple were tenants on the property, she said. She testified through an intermediary and proceedings took place in-camera.

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Her father was called to the witness box before she testified. He told the magistrate that Rampersad is a family friend and his daughter is scared to face him.

Magistrate Zodumo Dlamini questioned if there had been any acts of intimidation.

The father replied there were no signs of intimidation, “but she fears it”.

“We know his [Rampersad’s] family background and she fears the family may intimidate her after school or something. She doesn’t want to face him.

“We know the background of the family,” he said.

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The father added that at the time of the incident, his daughter was 14 years old and his son was 10 years old.

The start of the trial had been delayed by Rampersad because new attorneys kept on withdrawing from representing him because of conflicting versions that he had given them. He is now being represented by Richard Stuurman.

The case has been adjourned to July.