Muder accused called ‘hitman’ 45 times

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From left, Bongani Manyathi, Mandlenkosi Jobe and Alvin Maistry are all implicated in the death of Maistrys wife, Charmaine Naidoo, in February. Maistry is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder, allegedly to benefit from insurance policies. Picture: Geoff Brink

Durban - A man accused of ordering a “hit” on his wife spoke to one of the alleged trigger men on the morning of his wife’s abduction and murder, it has emerged in court.

Investigators had found evidence that Alvin “Inderesan” Maistry, 44, had spoken to co-accused Mandlenkosi Jobe, 40, 45 times between June and February 18 this year, the day of Charmaine Naidoo’s death.

Another co-conspirator, Sifiso Joyiso, 42, was sentenced last month to 40 years in jail.

They and Bongani Manyathi, 28, were charged with abducting Naidoo, 32, after she returned to her Merebank home from the supermarket she ran in Wentworth.

They allegedly shoved her into her car and drove her to KwaMakhutha, where she was shot, stabbed and strangled.

Her body was dumped and the car abandoned in Isipingo.

This was the evidence presented by Warrant Officer Rajen Nagesar to the Durban Magistrate’s Court at Maistry’s bail application on Friday.

Nagesar said the evidence had been collected after an unnamed witness - who claimed to have known Maistry for 10 years - came forward to say she had introduced the pair. The woman said Maistry had told her he had wanted to hire someone to kill his in-laws.

He allegedly later changed his mind and said he wanted to kill his wife’s sister.

“Later it emerged (to the witness) that Maistry wanted to hire someone to kill his wife,” said Nagesar.

He told the court the woman had picked out Maistry in 23 seconds in an identity parade at the Brighton Beach police station.

The witness said she had known Maistry as “Nazir”. She could not be identified because she feared retribution.

Nagesar said Jobe and Maistry had two phone numbers each. “There were calls from Maistry to Jobe on the day of the murder at 12.55pm, 12.56pm and 6.10pm.”

He said there had been 32 calls between the two using the first set of numbers and 13 using the second set.

“Jobe called Maistry twice at 10.38pm a few hours after the body was found.”

Nagesar said claims that Naidoo had an insurance policy had yielded “dead ends”.

“One broker we interviewed claimed to be afraid of Maistry and did not want to give any information to the police. He said he had been warned by Indian and African men.”

But advocate Murray Pitman, for Maistry, said the calls between Maistry and Jobe were to be expected because they had known one another since 2011.

“They met when Jobe, who ran a security company, would approach Maistry (at the department) to find out more about work tenders.”

Nagesar said police records did not go that far back.

“Why not? Everybody’s against him - so can we get some balance in this bail application,” said Pitman.

Pitman said Maistry had no woman friends of 10 years and put it to Nagesar that the witness was lying.

Nagesar dismissed this, saying the witness had no motive to do so.

Relatives of Naidoo and Maistry packed the courtroom, adding to the tension.

Shaun Govender, a friend of Naidoo’s family, said outside the court that the community was struggling to pick up the pieces after the murder.

“We are staying with Charmaine’s family just to provide support and help where we can.”

The family struggled to sleep and often became emotional. “The family is… hoping the proceedings are finalised soon.”

The bail hearing continues on May 28.

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