SMSes allegedly behind wife’s murder

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Copy of Copy of ND Maistry held

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Warrant Officers Rajen Nagaser, left, and Bob Pillay escort Alvin Maistry (face blurred) to court for his April 22 appearance in connection with the murder of his wife, Charmaine Naidoo. PICTURE: GCINA NDWALANE

Durban - Two months before Merebank mother Charmaine Naidoo was killed, she confronted her husband, Inderesan “Alvin” Maistry, over SMSes she found on his cellphone.

A witness overheard Maistry telling Naidoo she was embarrassing him at his workplace and he would get her back for it.

This was revealed during Maistry’s bail application on Friday before Durban magistrate Vanitha Armu.

Maistry is accused of arranging a “hit” on his wife.

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Rajen Nagesar, testifying in opposition to bail, said Maistry had allegedly assaulted Naidoo and broken her ribs after the workplace confrontation.

He said a witness had overheard Maistry saying to Naidoo: “You bitch. You made me look like a moegoe at my workplace. I’ll get you back.”

Nagesar said no case was opened against Maistry for this alleged assault.

He said his unit, the provincial task team, was now investigating a 2007 culpable homicide case, in connection with the death of Maistry’s ex-wife, Amanda.

 

He also testified about a woman State witness in whom Maistry, 44, had confided and whom he had known for the past one-and-a-half years.

Nagaser said the witness would testify about Maistry complaining about his “in-laws” from his first marriage harassing him for inheritance and custody of his children.

He had apparently asked her if she had known anyone who could “get rid” of them.

It is alleged she introduced Maistry to his co-accused, Mandlenkosi Jobe.

Sifiso Joyisa confessed last month that Jobe had hired him and co-accused Bongani Manyathi to kill Naidoo, and that he had been paid R6 000 for the job.

He was sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment.

In his guilty plea, Joyisa said he had met Jobe and Maistry a few days before Naidoo’s murder, and that Maistry was the “boss” who wanted the hit carried out.

Maistry and Naidoo, 32, had run a supermarket together. In February, Naidoo had just returned from her shop in Wentworth when robbers stormed her Merebank home.

She was shoved into her Toyota Yaris and taken to KwaMakhutha, where Joyisa shot her in her right shoulder.

Joyisa said that when Naidoo did not die, his co-accused, Manyathi, stabbed her several times, and then strangled her with her shoelace. Her body was dumped, and her car was abandoned in Isipingo.

A day after Joyisa was sentenced, Maistry was arrested outside the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court.

Maistry had filed an urgent high court application last week for his bail hearing to be heard last Friday.

He denied all the allegations against him and said he intended pleading not guilty.

He has offered to pay bail of R25 000.

State prosecutor Yuben Archary had called Nagaser to the stand, and cross-examination was to continue later this week.

Nagesar told the court that Naidoo’s daughter, from a previous relationship, had contacted Maistry saying they had been robbed, and that the men had taken her mother, to which Maistry had apparently replied: “And then?”

The investigating officer said the call was then cut, but not by Naidoo’s daughter.

The day after Naidoo’s murder, her body was found in bush near the KwaMakhutha police station.

He said the police had a strong case against all three accused, and referred to cellphone records of conversations between Jobe and Maistry before the murder, on the day and afterwards.

Referring to the State’s woman witness, he said Maistry had told her his first wife had died in a car accident, and confided in her about his first wife’s parents worrying him for an inheritance and custody of his children.

Maistry “asked her if she knew anyone who could get rid of them”. She had spoken to Jobe, whom she knew. She still had to identify Maistry in an ID parade, as he did not give her his real name, but called himself Naseer, he said.

Most of the investigation had led to Maistry’s being the planner and organiser, “and we therefore arrested him”.

Maistry’s defence advocate, Murray Pitman, had accused Nagaser of being a biased witness, and told the court Maistry had not received a R2 million insurance payout after his ex-wife’s death.

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