Durban - Despite previously confessing to their roles in killing their 9-year-old relative, Shahiel Sewpujun, and these confessions being admitted as evidence in their trial, the two murder accused insist they did not kill the little boy.
Phoenix mother and daughter, Rajwanthie Haripersadh, 54, and Kavitha Naiker, 31, are adamant they had a good relationship with Shahiel, who was often in their care while his mother Ishara Dewnarain went to work.
Naiker, who testified on Wednesday before Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay said she was convinced she was being framed by Shahiel’s stepfather Asif Bux or possibly the investigating officer.
The State alleges both women planned to kill Shahiel on February 5, last year in Clayfield, Phoenix, because of his demeanour towards them.
It was argued Naiker used a chisel to strike the boy on his head and held him down while Haripersadh bound his mouth and nose with Sellotape.
According to the indictment, the pair then placed Shahiel’s body in a suitcase and carried it to nearby bushes.
They allegedly returned to the site later that night and dumped Shahiel’s body in a stormwater drain.
The court heard that while Shahiel’s mother and stepfather, and the community were searching for the child, both women drank brake fluid and were admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital.
Naiker, the court heard, wrote a suicide note implicating Bux and his brother, Aadhil – Naiker’s on/off boyfriend. Both men were arrested and subsequently released.
While in hospital, Naiker apparently confessed in writing to her estranged father about killing Shahiel.
This confession was admitted into evidence by State advocate Denardo MacDonald and was contested by Naiker leading to a trial-within-a- trial.
Haripersadh also made a confession to the police after being discharged from hospital saying Shahiel was killed because he was “naughty”. She too disputed this confession saying she was forced by the police into doing so and this also led to a trial-within-a-trial.