Businessman Priyen Naidu, who is charged with carrying out two execution-style murders, allegedly burnt his clothes on the night of the crimes.
Naidu and co-accused Ruwain Meer are charged with the murders of Zain Fakir and Akbar Sudhoona on May 13, 2009. They had both been shot in the head and robbed of their cellphones and watches.
The State alleges that Naidu had plotted to kill Fakir, his business partner, after the latter had planned to operate the business on his own. Naidu allegedly enlisted Meer to help him with the murder.
Yesterday, Vishal Gunpath, Naidu’s former friend and employee, testified that he had been working for Naidu in 2009 and that Naidu had instructed him to buy a close corporation (Cupra Trading) so they could trade in duty credit certificates.
He testified that on May 12 2009, Naidu told him to pick up a cheque for R600 000 from Fakir and deposit it into Cupra’s bank account.
He said the next day, he went to a braai with Naidu and Meer at an Umhlanga bed ’n’ breakfast.
Gunpath said Naidu and Meer left the property for about two hours during the night and when they returned he helped them burn the clothing they had been wearing.
“When they left they were both wearing T-shirts, jeans and takkies. When they came back, both were bare-chested.
“The next time I saw them they both had changed into shorts, T-shirts and sandals.
“Naidu later asked me to take a box of clothes, which contained two pairs of jeans, two T-shirts and a pair of takkies, to Meer who burnt it in a wheelbarrow in the garden.”
He also said Naidu asked him the next morning if he knew what had happened the night before.
“He (Naidu) told me that it had something to do with the deceased’s death. I told him I do not want to hear about it and that I wanted to stay out of it.”
He said a few days later, Meer and Naidu concocted a false statement that they told him to give to the police.
“The statement said that I had been working for Fakir and that I did not attend the braai. I gave the statement to police. They told me that I must keep quiet about what happened,” he said.
Gunpath said when he was later picked up by police for questioning, he made another statement. “I decided to tell the truth because I was scared that I was getting involved in something that I did not do. I had to be honest.”
The trial continues today.
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