A Durban man who allegedly ordered a hit on his wife was arrested on Thursday and has spent the Easter weekend behind bars.
Alvin “Indren” Maistry, 49, an employee at the Department of Labour, was detained at the Wentworth police station and will appear in court on Tuesday.
His wife, Charmaine Naidoo, 32, was abducted from her Merebank house in the presence of her family in February.
The incident was apparently staged as a robbery. Maistry was not at home.
Naidoo was forced into her car and her body was found dumped in KwaMakutha, near Isipingo.
She had been shot in the shoulder and stabbed several times in the neck. When she did not die, shoelaces were used to strangle her.
This week one of Naidoo’s killers, Sifiso Joyiso, 42, was sentenced to 40 years in jail.
His co-accused, Mandlenkosi Jobe and Bongani Manyathi, appeared separately in court and are in custody.
Joyiso alleged in his plea statement that Maistry was the mastermind behind the killing.
The police arrested Maistry the day after Joyiso’s sentencing.
A police source close to the investigation said that an insurance payout was thought to be the motive for the murder.
Naidoo’s father, Rashid Narasiah, confirmed that his daughter had an insurance policy with Old Mutual.
He was not aware of the amount or who the beneficiaries were because the documents could not be found after Naidoo’s death.
“The only person who had access to the documents was her husband,” said Narasiah.
“We were always suspicious that Charmaine’s death was not accidental. We believed that it was planned. We are happy that justice will now be served and those responsible for her killing will face the consequences.”
Naidoo ran a supermarket in Merebank. Narasiah said the business had been sold within a month of her death.
“Charmaine was a successful businesswoman and she was a well-known person in the community. All of it seemed very odd to us because things were moving too fast while we were still grieving.”
Family friend Shaun Govender said that Naidoo and Maistry had had a fallout in December over text messages.
“Their relationship was not the same,” he said.
“She found SMSes on his phone and confronted him at his workplace. He was very embarrassed about it.”
Naidoo was Maistry’s second wife and they were married for seven years.
They were thought to be in a relationship when his first wife, Amanda Maistry, died in a car accident seven years ago.
The brakes on the car she was driving failed and she crashed into a truck.
Gloria Kotiah, Amanda’s mother, said that hearing of Naidoo’s death had opened old wounds.
“We suspected that Amanda’s death was not accidental,” she said.
“We even reported it to the Bellair police station. But nothing came of it. We will be asking the police to relook into my daughter’s death.”
Kotiah said her daughter had also been insured by Maistry.
“Even if there was a payout we would not know about it because we cut all ties with him when he remarried.”
Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed Maistry’s arrest.
“We can confirm another person was arrested in Chatsworth on Thursday afternoon. He is being detained at the Wentworth police station and will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder on Tuesday.”
At the time of Naidoo’s killing, Maistry told Post, a sister newspaper to the Sunday Tribune, that he wanted to see justice done. He said he did not know the suspects.
The Medical Research Council has said in a study of the murder rate of women in South Africa that “every six hours a woman is killed by her intimate partner”.
The study looks at murders of women between 1999 and 2009.
South Africa has a female murder rate six times higher than the global average, with half the murdered women killed by their partners. - The Sunday Tribune