Boyfriend pleads guilty to FET killing

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Pietermaritzburg - A student pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend at a Pietermaritzburg college, telling the court that he was angry because she wanted to end their relationship.

Claudius Chetty, 19, appeared calm on Tuesday as he admitted stabbing to death Rashmika Janthielayal, 17, at the uMgungundlovu Further Education and Training College campus in Northdale on June 3.

Rashmika, of Greytown, was stabbed in the face, neck and chest on a stairway, and died there as paramedics tried to resuscitate her.

She had been studying hairdressing at the college where Chetty was a hospitality student.

Chetty said in his plea before the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court that he and Rashmika had been in a relationship, but were experiencing problems.

He said he had wanted to talk to her on June 3 to “iron out our issues”.

“We spoke to each other and she made it clear to me that she no longer wished to continue the relationship,” Chetty explained.

Knife

He said he became very angry, and when Rashmika turned to walk away, he pulled out a knife and began stabbing her.

“I only stopped stabbing her when she fell to the ground.”

People had gathered around Rashmika and were trying to help her, he said.

Chetty was arrested by police later that day.

“I admit that although I was angry at the time, I at all times knew and understood that my actions were unlawful. I am truly remorseful for my actions,” Chetty said.

The court accepted his plea and adjourned the matter for sentencing to June 23, to allow time for a probation officer’s report to be compiled.

Rashmika’s mother, Shireen Janthielayal, who attended court on Tuesday with other relatives, said she was relieved Chetty had pleaded guilty. But she was angry that it had taken him a year to admit what he had done to her child.

“I will not be happy with any sentence less than life. He took my baby away from me,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

Janthielayal said her family were still struggling to accept what had happened.

“We just want justice to be done.”

sherlissa.peters@inl.co.za

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