Six held in Chatsworth murder case

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Durban - A Durban advocate handed herself in to police on Sunday, joining five other suspects - including an attorney and a policeman - who are now in police custody in connection with the murder of money lender Narend Anandrai.

The six were due to appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday and the case could be transferred to the Durban Magistrate’s Court for their bail application.

Five of the six handed themselves over to the SAPS provincial specific crimes unit on Friday. All are being detained at the Chatsworth police station.

The six - an attorney, an independent advocate, a police officer, a former police officer, a businesswoman and a businessman - were sought after two of them were named last Monday when drug addict Gregory Pillay, of Chatsworth, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Anandrai, 46.

Pillay, 37, was sentenced by Durban Regional magistrate Trevor Levitt to 18 years’ imprisonment.

He was arrested in Chatsworth on August 7 after intensive detective work by members of the SAPS provincial specific crimes unit.

Pillay confessed to the murder to investigating officer, Warrant Officer Sagie Govender, and testified in court about the hit.

Anandrai was shot at the entrance to a property in Havenside Drive, Chatsworth, on March 18. As he lay dead at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz ML, the vehicle veered forward, scraped the wall of the property and burst into flames.

Pillay had testified that, to his knowledge, there were six people involved in the murder and had named two of them.

However, magistrate Levitt had instructed the media not to publish the names of any of them because investigations were continuing and further arrests were expected.

Pillay had said he was in a vehicle with two other people and was told to be on the look-out for a black Mercedes-Benz ML and that he was then handed a gun.

Following the shooting, Pillay said the the driver had promised to pay him R20 000, and told him that a woman would pay him a further R100 000 if the job was completed on the same day.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday, Pillay’s mother, who did not want to be named, said she was “a little relieved” to hear of the arrests.

“At least my son won’t be taking the rap on his own and he could get a lesser sentence.

“My son isn’t a bad person. He is a drug addict and would not have done this if he was in the right frame of mind,” she said. “He must have been extremely scared.”

Anandrai’s widow, Jayshree Pillay, told the Daily News on Sunday she was very happy to hear of the arrests and pleased with the police efforts. “I hope they get everything that’s due to them. They need to be imprisoned,” she said.

She was in court last week and had listened intently to Pillay’s guilty plea and had broken down when she heard the details of how her husband was shot. Their daughter was born a month after Anandrai’s death.

“It has been quite hard to cope, but prayer has been a huge help.”

Police close to the investigation said five people had handed themselves over on Friday, but the advocate had not, despite an agreement to hand herself over. Police had been to her house on Friday and Saturday and her husband had allegedly told them she was last seen on Friday.

With her attorney present, she handed herself over to police at 3.30pm on Sunday.

The senior public prosecutor at Chatsworth is to decide whether the matter should move to the Durban Magistrate’s Court for a bail application.

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