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Dad to stand trial for family murder

Durban - The man accused of murdering his wife and their two children with a gada – a traditional Indian mace – has been declared mentally fit to stand trial.

This is according to a psychiatrist’s evaluation report.

Rajan Kandasamy. Credit: Daily News

Megamberry Armugam Rajan Kandasamy, 44, cut a forlorn figure as he stood in the dock, shoulders stooped, at the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

He is charged with the murder of his wife Varsha (Mala), 41, son Megandran, 17, and daughter, Melarisa, 18, at their family home on the weekend of December 28-29.

All three were found bludgeoned to the death with a gada.

Kandasamy had been placed under mental observation at the state’s Fort Napier Hospital in March following his arrest.

He has since undergone two further private mental assessments.

State prosecutor Lolly Soobramoney on Thursday submitted one of the private evaluation reports to the court, which declared Kandasamy mentally fit.

She asked for the accused to be transferred from the Westville prison hospital to cells.

The defence argued that Kandasamy be kept at the hospital pending the outcome of the other two reports.

However, magistrate Leon Ferreira refused the request. He ordered Kandasmy to be moved to prison.

Addressing the defence attorney, the magistrate said, with raised eyebrows: “You have put me in a difficult situation here. You want the best for your client, and I can’t tell the authorities to take him to hospital, as I have no medical qualifications.

“Would you like for me to call the doctor to court? I am pushed to make a decision and the accused is held in custody at Westville Prison. If there are any further issues, he can be assessed by the prison authorities.”

Prior to Kandasamy’s three mental assessments over the past two months, he was examined by the district surgeon at Addington Hospital, Dr Savvas Antoniades, in February.

The doctor’s mental assessment affidavit - presented to the court earlier this year – said Kandasamy claimed he had no recollection of murdering anyone, that he had a psychiatric history, and he had been taking medication.

The matter has been adjourned to next month. Kanda-samy has been remanded in custody at Westville Prison.

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