Durban - A policeman who allegedly told the family of his dead lover, a police captain, that she had committed suicide has been charged for her murder.
Three years after Captain Brenda Saligram, 42, died of a gunshot wound to her head at the Verulam home of her lover, Warrant Officer Krishna Soobramoney, he is expected to be tried for her murder in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
While Soobramoney, of the Point police station in Durban, had maintained from the day of the tragedy on August 28, 2013, that Saligram, of the Maydon Wharf police station in Durban, had taken her own life, Saligram’s family felt that her death involved foul play.
Her sister, Monica Singh, 41, said her family had refused to accept an inquest docket that the Verulam police station had opened instead of a murder case.
“The docket was at the Verulam police station for approximately six months and for the same period at the Phoenix police station.
“Because we got no joy from both police stations, we approached the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for assistance. It was only after Ipid took over the investigations that Krishna was arrested earlier this year,” said Singh.
Singh, of Empangeni, said she and her family could not fathom why Soobramoney, who has three children from a previous relationship, had informed them on August 28, 2013, that her sister had been rushed to Umhlanga Hospital after the shooting incident, yet he was not at the hospital when they got there.
“He claimed he loved her a lot but was not at the hospital,” she said.
“Brenda always wanted to be a policewoman and had been with the SA Police Service for 20 years. She and Krishna had an on-and-off relationship for almost five years.”
Singh said there were occasions when Brenda had phoned her and sobbed during their conversations.
“I advised her to terminate her relationship with Krishna, but for reasons unknown to me and my family, she did not listen to me.”
According to Singh, Soobramoney, in the early stages of their relationship, appeared to be a gentleman.
“Brenda, who was the eldest and the breadwinner in the family, told us that when she and Krishna first courted, he had introduced her to his family. However, during the passage of time after Brenda learnt that he had three children, and not only one child from the wife he had divorced, their relationship became strained,” said Singh.
She said she and family wanted justice to prevail.
“We approached Ipid to take over the investigations because we wanted justice to be done for Brenda. My sister gave her life to the South African Police Service and it was heartbreaking to learn that no one from the Verulam and Phoenix police stations were interested in investigating the tragedy.”
Singh said her mother, Iris, 67, had taken it badly.
“Brenda’s case has dragged on for three years. We hope that the outcome of the trial will bring us closure.”
Robbie Raburabu, Ipid’s national spokesman, confirmed that an inquest docket had initially been opened.
“Ipid then took over the investigations. When the investigations were completed, the docket was presented to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
“The directorate subsequently decided that Soobramoney should be prosecuted for murder,” he said.