Son charged with mom’s murder claims she stabbed him first

Jessica Jaganath was stabbed to death allegedly by her son in 2021. He is on trial for her murder in the Durban Regional Court.

Jessica Jaganath was stabbed to death allegedly by her son in 2021. He is on trial for her murder in the Durban Regional Court.

Published Jun 25, 2024


Durban — So far witnesses in the trial of a Clare Estate man alleged to have stabbed his mother 26 times have told the Durban Regional Court that the accused said he did not mean it, that he was acting in self-defence, and more recently that his mother had stabbed him.

Uveer Jaganath is on trial in the Durban Regional Court charged with the 2021 murder of his mother, Jessica, whom he allegedly killed in their Clare Hill home just days before Mother’s Day and the day before his birthday.

The accused has pleaded not guilty. In his plea explanation, he said several hours before the incident he had snorted 3 to 4g of cocaine, smoked cigarettes laced with cocaine, and also smoked some dagga joints.

He also said he had no recollection of the alleged incident that followed a heated argument with his mother over cigarettes that she had found in his bag.

Uveer is out on bail of R20 000, which was granted in the high court on appeal after it had been refused in the lower court.

On Monday, the court heard from two witnesses who attended to Uveer at St Augustine’s Hospital that he had told them his mother had stabbed him, giving no further information.

Uveer had four wounds, three on his right thigh and one in the abdomen.

Nurse Cathlene Maria Roots, who is now retired, said on that day, the accused arrived at the hospital with paramedics. She said he was conscious, coherent, alert and responsive.

“There was nothing from my assessment of him that warranted me asking if he had consumed alcohol or taken drugs because he was responsive, co-operative and we had no problems with any abnormal behaviour,” she said.

Roots, who had explained to the court that in her experience in the emergency department over the years she had encountered patients heavily under the influence of alcohol as well as those under the influence of narcotics.

When asked by senior State prosecutor advocate Krishen Shah whether, from her assessment and experience, it had occurred to her that the accused was under the influence of cocaine and dagga, the nurse answered: “No.”

Roots explained that the neurovascular assessment she conducted on the accused included recording his pupil-size and reaction of his eyes.

She said that his pupils were 3mm and his reaction was brisk, and when asked by the State whether someone under narcotics would display similar pupil-size and reaction, she said “no”.

“From my experience, this will change, the pupil-size will be smaller and reaction will be sluggish,” Roots told the court.

She recorded in the accused’s hospital form that he had told her during their interview that his mom had stabbed him.

Uveer also said the same thing to Dr Asanda Zandile Gxobole, who stitched his wounds.

The trial continues.

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