Workers charged in handyman’s murder

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Durban - Two men have been arrested for the murder of Queensburgh handyman, Najesh Somduth.

The two suspects, aged 23 and 20, had worked part time for Somduth.

He had been stabbed 17 times in the head with a sharpened allen key, a police source said. Somduth’s cellphone, phone charger and R3 000 in cash were stolen.

On January 20, Somduth was reported missing by family.

He had gone to drop off his workers in Umbumbulu and failed to return home.

He had finished a job in Durban North and called his wife at 8pm to tell her he was dropping off workers at the railway station.

The source said the first suspect was arrested at his KwaMakhutha home on February 17, by members of the Provincial Task Team.

Somduth’s cellphone was recovered. The suspect then led police to his accomplice.

The second suspect was arrested at the Umbumbulu Magistrate’s Court where he was being charged with another murder.

The source said Somduth’s cellphone charger and knapsack were recovered at the suspect’s house. The source said Somduth had offered a lift to the suspects, who were each paid R150 a day.

Somduth had been paid R3 000 in cash for the day’s work in Durban North. He had the money on him.

The suspects were sitting in the bakkie with Somduth when one of them allegedly stabbed him (Somduth) in the neck with the sharpened allen key, the source said.

“He stopped the vehicle and the suspects dragged him out the bakkie and into the nearby bushes where they stabbed him 17 times – eight times in the temple and nine in the back of the head,” the police source said.

The men tried to escape in the vehicle but drove it into a ditch.

They then fled with Somduth’s belongings and cash.

Pastor John Moses, a close family friend of Somduth, said they were relieved and pleased to hear of the swift arrests.

But the family were still struggling emotionally, he said.

“It is only a month since he was killed, but the family are getting a lot of support from our church congregation,” he said.

“They are very happy with the police work, but will only get closure when justice has been served.”

Moses described Somduth as a “gentle soul” who was an elder of Grace Community Church in Queensburgh.

He was meant to be instated as a pastor this year.

The two suspects have appeared in court on charges of murder and robbery. The matter was adjourned to April for further investigation.

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