Durban – The family of a murdered Phoenix man, alleged to have been a cross-dresser, said their lives have been a “nightmare” after seeing the “gem” of their family being described as “the man in black lingerie”.
They were speaking outside the Durban High Court on Friday, during the trial of Romano Naidoo, 30, who is accused of robbing and killing Manishvar Ramraj in April 2013.
Naidoo, of Whetfern Place, Phoenix, was arrested and charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in relation to the death of Ramraj, 34.
A post mortem report stated Ramraj died from a “perforating intermediate range gunshot wound to the head”.
The State alleged that Ramraj and Naidoo, a shop-fitter, began communicating with each other on the social networking site Mxit.
It was further alleged they had arranged to meet in person and that Naidoo had planned to use the meeting as an opportunity to rob and kill Ramraj.
Naidoo is alleged to have also robbed Ramraj of his cellphone, a Blackberry 9300.
At the start of the trial, Warrant Officer Vijay Rajkumar, of Phoenix SAPS, who attended the scene, testified a bullet head and a briefcase which contained a black and brown wig, black lingerie, a porn DVD disc, an anti-virus disc cover and BlackBerry cellphone was found at the home.
He further testified that when he viewed the deceased at hospital, he found Ramraj clad in black ladies’ lingerie.
However, Ramraj’s sister, Nevena Archary, said her family did not believe that her younger brother was a cross-dresser, describing him as a religious person.
“My brother was the main support to our mother and grandmother and had always placed his responsibilities and duties towards our family and others as a priority over his social life. He was also a religious dancer and was involved in many religious organisations.
“He was a humble soul and was snatched from us mercilessly through this inhumane act. We feel his memory is being tarnished as being called the man in ‘black lingerie’ when he was the victim,” she said.
On Tuesday, state witness Susanna Vas, a Vodacom law enforcement agency specialist, testified that data showed a sim card had been placed into Rarmaj’s cellphone after his death on April 9.
She said the sim card, which was registered to Jeremiah Moodley, was operational between April 12 and May 23 in the cellphone.
Both the State and defence closed its case this week.
Arguments is expected next week.