Durban — The Durban High Court on Monday will decide whether Kista Chetty, based on the evidence presented before it, is guilty or not of the five murders and six attempted murders he has been on trial for.
Judge Carol Sibiya on Friday after hearing the State and defence address her on the merits of the case adjourned the matter for her ruling on judgment.
Chetty is on trial for the 2021 murders of his wife Elisha Naidoo, 39, his 13-year-old daughter Jadene, his 9-year-old son Jordan, 8-year-old daughter Aarav and his 3-year-old nephew Aldrin.
At the time of the incident, the family lived in a bedroom that they rented at a house on Kidstone Place in Phoenix.
Chetty’s brother-in-law Deon Naidoo and others lived in the lounge of the same house, there were 12 of them in total living in the house.
He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts of murder and six attempted murders levelled against him by the State.
Chetty had previously told the court that he had taken the cap of a 5-litre container that had petrol in poured some of it into the lid of the container and emptied the contents of the lid onto his stomach over his shirt.
He said that he then lit his shirt from the hem and when his wife screamed that he was on fire he quickly took his T-shirt off and threw it on the ground without realising it had landed on the 5-litre container.
His testimony was that the fire started and moved quickly, while his wife and his children stood on the other side of the bed which had caught alight.
His evidence was that he picked up the burning bed and screamed for them to get out adding that this was how he sustained burns on his hands and face.
He had said that his intention was to kill himself by setting himself alight after he had an argument with his wife.
The court has heard how after an earlier physical fight with his wife’s brother Chetty was pushed out of the house by his wife and daughter and was locked out.
He returned later that night asking to be let into the house, the door was open for him and once in the bedroom of the house he said that he decided to kill himself.
Evidence has been that Chetty did not want his brother’s wife living with them as he would often make monetary contributions to the house but would later demand his money back from his sister and she would give in to the demand.
He had told the court that he and his wife often argued over this but he never would hit her adding that he also got into arguments with Deon.
When Chetty’s Legal Aid attorney Musa Chiliza addressed the court Judge Sibiya posed questions to him.
“So do we ignore that Deon said that the accused broke a bottle going for his wife and Deon got in between them? There was clearly something different about this day for his daughter and wife to push the accused out of the house and lock him out,” said Sibiya.
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