Lungani Basil Underhill, Fredboy Msomi and Sibonelo Braveman Underhill
Durban - THE estate agent accused of being the mastermind behind the murder and robbery of retired Chatsworth principal Gonapathy Pillay had allegedly first targeted a house in Athlone Park, but found the owner wasn't home.

Lungani Basil Underhill, 25, told the Durban High Court on Wednesday that he had been an intern at Pam Golding eManzimtoti estate agency since January 2017.

“I wish to emphasise that I would never want to destroy my reputation and dreams of becoming an estate agent, and I was never involved in any crime,” he said.

Underhill told the court he had taken a potential buyer, his co-accused, Fredboy Msomi, to two other houses to view before they secured an appointment with the Pillays.

He believes he was used by his co-accused to commit the crimes.

On September, 30, 2017, when Pillay was murdered and her husband Loganathan stabbed, Underhill arrived with Sibonelo Braveman Underhill, who Pillay said was introduced to them as Underhill’s cousin, Msomi, and another man identified only as Thembinkosi, who is still at large.

According to the State’s case, Basil Underhill was the mastermind behind the incident.

Loganathan Pillay earlier told the court how Basil repeatedly stabbed him while he lay on the bathroom floor, and helplessly watched as his wife was strangled with her scarf.

Basil told the court that he had taken Msomi, who he said was known to him as Khulubuse Zuma, to a house in School Road, eManzimtoti and to another at Hudd Street, in Athlone Park, two weeks earlier. He said they viewed the house at School Road, but Msomi was not happy with it. They then went to Athlone Park, where they found the house locked.

“I phoned the owner of the house, Mrs Minty, and she informed me that she was in Secunda on a business trip. He said he then contacted Mrs Pillay, who confirmed the appointment to view the house on September 20. Although I had made the appointment with Mrs Pillay, Msomi still wanted to view the house on Hudd Street and had confirmed the appointment for September 20,” he said.

He said they travelled in a double-cab bakkie which, according to the State’s evidence, was stolen.

He said they first went to Athlone Park but found, on arrival, that Minty was still in Secunda. He said they then went to the Pillays and were warmly welcomed.

“Mrs Pillay greeted us and kissed me on the cheek. While viewing the house, she held my hand. Msomi told the Pillays not to sell the house to anyone else, and offered to purchase. I then followed the estate agency practice of making the two parties sign a a purchase and sale document, which Msomi signed and initialled.”

The case continues.

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