State to oppose grenade attack appeal

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Nelspruit - The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will oppose an application by grenade attack mastermind Yegen Naidoo for leave to appeal two life sentences for the death of a Mpumalanga woman and her nine-year-old granddaughter.

“The matter has been enrolled from January 20 until 24 in the Nelspruit Circuit Court for a twofold application from the defence,” spokesman Medupi Simasiku said on Friday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

“Firstly, it will be an application to adduce further and new evidence. Secondly, an application for a leave to appeal. The State will be opposing both these applications.”

Naidoo, 44, was convicted of killing Patricia Pillay and her nine-year-old granddaughter Yetska in their sleep in Valencia, outside Nelspruit, on December 23, 2006.

Naidoo was sentenced in the Nelspruit circuit of the High Court in Pretoria in May. During the sentencing, Judge Ronel Tolmay said Naidoo planned the crime.

Naidoo had suspected the Pillays of harbouring his girlfriend and child who had run away from him, but the court heard the Pillays did not know the woman and child.

Naidoo recruited Mohamed Ismail Khan, 41, and Zamuk Amod Khan, 51, to commit the murders and also supplied the grenade used in the attack.

The two Khans testified during trial that Naidoo led a Durban-based gang called Bad Company. They told the court they acted on Naidoo's instructions when they carried out the attack.

Mohamed testified that Naidoo warned him not to return to Durban without throwing the grenade, otherwise he would be killed. Both Khans are already serving life imprisonment sentences and an additional 20 years each for the hand grenade attack.

Naidoo handed himself in to the Durban organised crime unit on June 7, 2011. He was released on R100 000 bail before being found guilty and sentenced to life for the two murders.

He was also found guilty on four other charges and sentenced to seven years for possession of explosives, seven years for conspiracy to commit murder, and eight years each for attempted murder.

The attempted murder convictions related to Pillay's children, Daphne and her brother Kevin, who were in the house and sustained injuries during the attack.

All the sentences would run concurrently.


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