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‘If I had killed him, I wouldn’t have been so stupid’

Durban - Murder accused Kavitha Naiker, who along with her mother is charged with the murder of their 9-year-old relative, told the court that if she had committed murder she would have done a “better job” to cover her tracks.

Naiker, who was testifying in her defence, denied she committed the crime but told the court what she would have done not to get caught.

The State alleges that Kavitha Naiker and her mother killed 9-year-old Shahiel last February by hitting him on the head with a chisel and then suffocating him. File picture: Siyanda Mayeza. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

“I wouldn’t have been so stupid to use a tape I own. If I used the gloves I would not have cut the gloves and exposed it in the house so the police can find it. I would have hidden it or burnt it.”

The State says that tape was used to cover the nose and mouth of Shahiel Sewpujun and that yellow household gloves were also used in the murder.

The State alleges that Naiker and her mother Rajwanthie Haripersadh killed Shahiel last February by hitting him on the head with a chisel and then suffocating him.

In their trial before Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay, they have pleaded not guilty but confessions made by the women have been admitted as evidence.

The women tried to commit suicide by drinking brake fluid two days after Shahiel was killed.

During cross-examination by State advocate Denardo MacDonald on Wednesday, Naiker also said she would not have left the body in a stormwater drain.

Shahiel’s body was found in a drain.

“I would have arranged for other sources of help. I would not have done something stupid like that because the community would have easily found it. I did not do anything, but if I had, I would have covered all the loopholes.”

She also said she believed she had been framed.

In closing arguments, MacDonald said the motive for the murder had to be inferred from the confessions by both women which have been admitted into evidence by the court.

In Haripersadh’s confession to police she said Shahiel was hit by Naiker with a chisel and then tape was placed over his mouth and nose to suffocate him.

In Naiker’s statements she does not mention the chisel but stated that she was involved in the murder.

MacDonald said Haripersadh had said in her confession that Shahiel’s murder had been planned because he was “naughty, misbehaved and did not listen”.

He also said that Naiker had told a social worker, after she attempted to commit suicide, that they had been unable to discipline Shahiel and that he did not respect her or her mother.

He also told the court that while both women had changed their versions before the trial and during the trial, if the evidence was viewed collectively, other evidence including Shahiel’s DNA being found on a chisel supported the version that Shahiel was hit on the head and then suffocated.

The defence argued that there were a lot of unanswered questions in the State’s case and there was undisputed evidence before the court that both women had enjoyed a good relationship with Shahiel.

The case was adjourned for judgment. Both women are in custody.

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