Dad held after family bludgeoned to death

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Mala Kandasamy, her son Megandran, 19, and Melarisa, 18, were found beaten to death in their home in Chatsworth. Photo: Facebook

Durban - A Chatsworth father has been arrested for killing his wife and two teenage children.

Rajan Kandasamy, 44, was handed over to police by his family on Tuesday after going missing following the death of his family.

His wife Varsha, 41, an admin clerk at an engineering firm, and children Melarisa, 18, and Megandren, 17, were found bludgeoned to death in the main bedroom of their home. It is believed they were clubbed to death with a Gada – a traditional Indian mace carried by the Hindu god Hanuman.

Relatives raised the alarm after the family failed to attend a memorial service on Sunday and attempts to contact them on their cellphones failed. They then called in the Chatsworth SAPS who entered the house and made the gruesome discovery.

Melarisa and Magandren were found covered with blood on the bedroom floor while Varsha’s blood-soaked body was on the bed covered with a blanket. All three sustained severe head injuries.

At the time, Rajan Kandasamy, who worked at Checkers at the Chatsworth Centre, could not be found. Initially there were fears that he too had been killed.

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Varsha Kandasamy's blood-soaked mattress is removed from the Chatsworth home she shared with her husband, Rajan, and children Melarisa, 18, and Megandren, 17. Photo: ZAIL SINGH


That changed on New Year’s eve when police were called to his mother’s nearby home and relatives handed him over.

He was seated next to his blind mother at the time of his arrest.

Kandasamy’s brother Lenny said the family was shocked and did not have much information regarding the incident or his brother’s arrest. “The family is not in the right frame of mind right now. We have the funeral of my sister-in-law and her children to worry about. We will speak after that is done,” said Lenny.

Varsha’s uncle Ronnie Kallan said the family was distraught.

“We are totally shocked. We cannot believe this has happened. Varsha and the kids were so quiet and reserved. They were always loving and caring to all the family members,” said Kallan.

He would not be drawn on Kandasamy’s arrest but said he was certain justice would be served.

“All we know is that he has been arrested. We do not want to comment further on the matter. We have full faith in the Chatsworth SAPS and the justice system. The police have acted swiftly and in an excellent manner so we are confident justice will be served,” said Kallan.

When POST visited the home on Monday, a crime scene team were busy cleaning the affected area.

Relatives burst into tears as the team removed the blood soaked bed on which Varsha was found.

The Sunday Tribune paper was on the driveway still in its wrapping, adding to speculation that they were killed on Saturday night or during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Melarisa was a matric pupil at Crossmoor Secondary and was awaiting her final results. Her brother was also a pupil at the school.

School friends and teachers streamed into the family home on Monday.

Megandren’s best friend Trimaine Naidoo said he would never forget his friend. “Megandren was always humble. He had just the right things to say to you when you felt down. We were very close and I will miss him a lot. We would spend hours playing PlayStation and watching soccer. He was a huge Manchester United fan and he also loved chess. Everyone at school is in shock. We can’t believe he’s gone,” said Trimaine.

Melarisa’s friend who declined to be named said she was a quiet and intelligent girl. “She was very reserved but she got on well with everyone that she came into contact with. We are all just shocked by what has happened,” she said.

Neighbour Dan Moodley described the couple as people who kept to themselves. “We would see the children come home from school and the wife and husband. Everything seemed fine. They were an average couple,” said Moodley.

Police officers who attended the scene described it as one of the most gruesome murder scenes they had encountered.

“It’s terrible to see someone lose their life like that, especially when there are children involved. The brother and sister died next to each other on the floor. There was blood everywhere. It’s a scene I will never forget,” said an officer.

Chatsworth Community Policing Forum Chairperson Logan Chetty condemned the incident. “This is a tragedy that has shocked this community. This is the most heinous crime someone can ever commit. We will make sure that we will assist the police in whichever way we can to see that justice is served.

“It is worrying that our community has degenerated to such an extent where there is no respect for human life anymore,” said Chetty.

The triple funeral will take place at the Kandasamy home in Moorton on Friday before proceeding to the Crossmoor Secondary School hall and then to the Clare Estate Crematorium.

Kandasamy will appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on the day of the funeral. It is still unclear whether he will attend the funeral or not.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonye Ngobeni said she was shocked by the killings. “I was shocked to hear about the killing of innocent family members in such a barbaric manner.

“The police will leave no stone unturned until they find the cause of the killing and the case will be thoroughly investigated to make sure that the killer gets a harsh sentence,” said Ngobeni.

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