Pillow used to muffle deadly shot

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Copy of IOL pic apr11 bullet shells on floor AFP File picture: AFP

Durban - A pillow with a bullet hole was found hidden behind the couch of a Durban woman shot dead, allegedly by her policeman boyfriend, the Durban Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate investigator Ntombi Gibson found the scatter cushion behind Rosemary Bell's couch, she said in an affidavit read to the court by prosecutor Blackie Swart.

eThekwini metro police officer Dayandran “Devon” Govender, 44, allegedly shot 32-year-old Bell in her Greenwood Park home shortly after 10pm on August 20.

He is applying for bail. He has been charged with murder and allegedly used his service pistol to commit the crime.

The local Northglen News newspaper last week quoted a Terence Road resident, who did not want to be named, as saying he had heard a muffled shot followed by three “blood-curdling screams”, and then silence.

These reports of a muffled shot prompted Gibson to return to the house and investigate further.

“I searched and moved the couches and found the cushion hidden behind the couch,” said Gibson.

Swart told the court the evidence was that Bell had wanted to end her five-year relationship with Govender.

Messages on her phone showed she had demanded Govender return her BMW and remove his clothing from her house.

Govender had lived with the businesswoman and her daughter for the past three years.

His lawyer Sunil Singh told the court his client did not have any previous convictions and would plead not guilty.

Govender was not a flight risk, had worked for the police for the past 20 years, and police had already secured all the forensic evidence needed.

In Govender's affidavit, he said: “I am emotionally distraught by her death.”

Magistrate Vanitha Armu was expected to hand down her bail ruling later on Thursday.

Sapa


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