Rajiv Sewnarain
Durban - Rajiv Sewnarain’s friend, Soonil Roopram, was shocked to hear that Sewnarain had a girlfriend who worked at an escort agency.

This was revealed by Roopram on Tuesday in the Durban High Court at the review trial of Sewnarain, who, on Monday, pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Shanaaz, on December 10, 2010.

A few days after the hijacking and murder, Roopram said he and Sewnarain’s brother were called by the convicted murderer.

He told them that he had a girlfriend, Roopram said. This news was met with great shock by Roopram and Sewnarain’s brother. He said he did not understand why his friend had told them this.

After this revelation, Roopram said he suggested that it could have been Sewnarain’s mistress or her husband who could have been behind the attack on the couple.

The news of the affair shocked Roopram as he (Sewnarain) was “not someone who was a ladies’ man and was a loving person to his children and in-laws” and did not know of any tensions between Rajiv and Shanaaz.

But he noted that Shanaaz did not have a good relationship with her father-in-law.

After Shanaaz’s death Roopram said he often visited the family to comfort them.

Roopram described Shanaaz as an aggressive businesswoman. This led to a number of confrontations with some clients, one of them being SA Roadlink who made some late payments, he said.

Warrant Officer Rajesh Kalijee, who is an acquaintance of Sewnarain’s, said that he had been on duty on the day of the murder and had received a call from his brother telling him about the hijacking. He was told that Sewnarain was lying near a road in the Folweni area. He contacted a car tracking company to try to find the vehicle and talked to SAPS officers who were at the scene.

Kalijee, who is stationed at Montclair police station, said he found out that Sewnarain had been taken to St Augustine’s hospital and that Shanaaz had been taken in the car with her killers. He went to the hospital and questioned Sewnarain on what had happened during the hijacking.

Kalijee said he told Sewnarain that he needed the information so he could open a case.

Sewnarain told him they had been driving in the Bluff area when they were stopped by two vehicles, one of them a BMW and the other a VW Golf. Two men got out of the vehicles, shot Sewnairain in the shoulder and pulled him out of his vehicle. Two cellphones belonging to couple and R700 cash was taken. Kalijee said Sewnarain told him that the assailants then drove off with Shanaaz in his vehicle.

This is the latest development in a case that has been going on for more than seven years.

In 2010 Sewnarain was given a life sentence for the murder of Shanaaz.

In 2012, he sought to have the case reviewed because he claimed he had been forced to make the confession. He said he made the confession while under medication and was not in a proper mental state.

In 2016, the Daily News’ sister paper, Post, reported that Sewnarain had successfully applied in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have his conviction and sentence reviewed.

Daily News