Durban – A deaf Chatsworth karate instructor allegedly started a fight that ultimately resulted in his death. That was the claim made by Gershom Levi Perumal, 25, when he appeared in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s court this week.
Perumal has been charged with the murder of 52-year-old Dheenadayalan Reddy. Reddy died in hospital last month after he was attacked at the Hotel Savera in Chatsworth on March 2.
In a statement, as part of his bail application, Perumal said he had gone to the hotel with his girlfriend, her brother and her friend.
He alleged the deceased interfered with his partner.
“At this stage I asked him to leave us and he did leave us.”
Perumal said they then moved away and at a later stage the deceased began to touch his girlfriend inappropriately.
“An altercation ensued where the deceased attacked me and I defended myself. I acted in self-defence. I had earlier learnt that the deceased was a black belt, second Dan, and was capable of inflicting substantial injury. I left the hotel and was unaware of the deceased’s condition until my arrest,” said Perumal.
It was established that Reddy had suffered internal injuries which included a ruptured intestine and brain damage.
Perumal said he did not carry any weapons and had not initiated the incident. “I will stand trial to prove my innocence.”
State prosecutor Nompumelelo Marx opposed Perumal’s bail application on the grounds that it would disturb social order and his safety would be jeopardised if he were released.
The prosecutor said some organisations and members of the public were against Perumal receiving bail because Reddy was a “vulnerable member” of society due to his disability.
Perumal’s legal representative, Siven Samuels, said the public outcry and threats have been unexceptional and were not proven to be a guaranteed threat to his client’s safety.
He also argued that Reddy could not be considered a vulnerable member of society given that he held a black belt in karate.
The bail application was adjourned to tomorrow and Perumal was remanded to Westville prison.
“We want justice to be served,” said Reddy’s brother Lenny.