Durban - The boyfriend of a Durban woman arranged her murder so he could claim on her life insurance policy - and because she was trying to come between him and his new girlfriend.
This is according to a State witness who testified on Monday before the Durban High Court that he and a friend had been hired to kill the woman.
Loganathan Naicker, 35, of oThongathi (Tongaat) is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Pillay, in 2008.
The State alleges that Naicker and Pillay were in a relationship and living together and that during May 2008, Naicker decided that Pillay must be killed and approached two men to carry out his plan for a cash reward.
The indictment says that on May 21 that year, two men accosted Pillay at her home in Ottawa, near Verulam, and drove away with her in her Toyota Tazz. They took her to sugar cane fields nearby where she was shot dead. The vehicle was later found abandoned. Her body was recovered the next day.
The State alleges Pillay and the two men acted with common purpose to kill Jennifer. One of the two men who turned State witness, Sandile Rudolph Ncube, on Monday testified he knew Naicker because they worked in the taxi industry in oThongathi.
Ncube said he was a taxi driver and Naicker a taxi owner. He testified that his friend, Mbongeni Mbatha, had approached Naicker for a security job when he saw Ncube chatting to Naicker.
“Logan laughed at him and said he’ll find him a job that pays better. Later Logan told me there was a person who needed to be killed. I reminded him of my friend, Mbongeni, who was still available.
When all three of them met, Naicker explained his ex-girlfriend must be killed because she was “disturbing him from his current girlfriend”, he said.
Ncube said Mbatha asked how much Naicker would pay him, to which he replied R20 000 cash upfront, before the job was completed.
Ncube said initially he had been the facilitator, arranging meetings between Mbatha and Naicker and sometimes acting as a translator, but in the end also took part in the crime.
He testified that Naicker told them they would find R7 000 in the boot of the Tazz, which belonged to his ex-girlfriend, and that he would later pay the remaining R13 000.
However, the plan changed once they had hijacked Pillay and taken her to a sugar cane plantation, as they did not find money in the boot as promised.
They had tried contacting Naicker about the money and he apparently said he was busy and later was not answering Ncube’s calls.