Pool bar brawl ended in fatal shot

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Durban - A Shallcross man on Wednesday described how his childhood friend died outside a shopping centre following a fight with a man he accused of having an affair with his wife.

Dhanasagren “Sam” Naidoo was fatally shot in the chest during the early hours of April 21, 2012, outside a bar at the Jamaica Shopping Centre in Shallcross.

Pregerson “Preggy” Govender, the owner of the bar, was arrested two days later and is currently on trial in the Durban Regional Court for Naidoo’s murder, and the attempted murder of Naidoo’s friend, Krishna “Trevin” Naidoo. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On Wednesday, State prosecutor Krishen Shah called Padmathan “Selvan” Pillay to the witness stand. Pillay said his childhood friend, cousin Stanley, and Krishna Naidoo met at Pillay’s house on April 20, 2012, for drinks and to play cards.

“Sam (the deceased) told us his wife ran away with Preggy (the accused). This was the first time he spoke to us about this, but not the first time we heard about it,” Pillay testified.

He said Naidoo was living at his mother’s house at the time and told them Govender had threatened to shoot him.

After a few drinks, Pillay said Naidoo asked them to accompany him to Govender’s bar to tell Govender his marriage was over.

Naidoo’s wife, Michelle, had earlier testified for the State denying the alleged affair saying she was married to Naidoo for 18 years and had two children together. She had said Naidoo moved to his mother’s house in December 2011, but they still shared an amicable relationship.

Pillay said they agreed to accompany Naidoo to the bar and had been playing pool while he spoke to Govender.

“Preggy threw the first punch, which led to an altercation in the foyer.”

He described how about five to six people were also coming out of the bar and running towards his cousin who was also outside and began fighting with him using pool cues. He said Krishna Naidoo was also involved in the altercation.

“Everything was happening so fast. People tried to stop the fight. (Krishna) said let’s go. The four of us walked back to the car park and we drove off. I soon realised (Krishna), who had travelled with Sam in another car, was not behind us. I made a U-turn and when I arrived back at the car park (Krishna) was screaming that (Govender) shot Sam. Stanley jumped out of our car and ran towards Sam, who was on the floor, and held Sam in his arms. I tried calling for the ambulance,” Pillay testified.

He denied that his cousin Stanley had a gun.

Under cross-examination, Govender’s lawyer, senior advocate Gideon Scheltema, asked Pillay if they were not concerned about going to Govender’s bar late on a Friday night and with the possibility that things could turn violent.

Pillay said they were not because they all knew Govender and that Naidoo just wanted to talk to him.

He later conceded that Naidoo asked them to accompany him because he was afraid of Govender’s friends.

He denied that any of them carried a weapon with them, saying they all felt there would not be a problem.

The part-heard trial continues in December.

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