Durban - THE husband of a Phoenix woman who was found dead in her home with her two daughters was ruled out as a murder suspect after police confirmed his alibi, the Durban High Court heard.
The police had sought records from Sagren Govindasamy’s workplace, Hendok, in Phoenix Industrial Park, to confirm his claim that he was at work at the time of the triple murders.
Colin Pillay, 46, is on trial for the murder of Jane Govindasamy and her daughters Denisha, 22, and Nikita, 16.
Pillay pleaded not guilty to the murders and the theft of three cellphones and R1800 from the Govindasamy home on September 20, 2018.
Pillay admitted at the start of the trial last month that he was in a relationship with Jane and knew she was married.
Sagren Govindasamy had earlier testified that he returned home from work and found his house locked.
Efforts to locate his family failed as calls and messages to his wife and daughters went unanswered.
Govindasamy had told the court that he spent the night at his mother’s house after he failed to locate his wife and daughters and could not get inside the house because he did not have the house keys.
The police had seized his cellphone and clothing for further investigations, and found nothing to incriminate him.
Before this, police confirmed his alibi and ruled him out as a suspect.
On Monday, Janet Crouch, the Human Resources manager at Hendok, testified that the police had on September 21 requested records to confirm Govindasamy’s alibi.
“I gave them a print-out verifying that he clocked in for his 2pm shift and that he checked out at the end of his shift at 10pm,” she testified.
Crouch said the company used a fingerprint access system that was secure and which could not be manipulated.
“I am the only one who has access to the system. Without using the fingerprint access system, one cannot start work because a person still has to clock in at the workstation using the same fingerprint system,” she said.
During the trial, the court heard that Pillay was placed at the scene after police found CCTV footage of him walking towards the block of flats where the Govindasamy family lived.
Bloodstains found on clothing Pillay wore on the day of the incident matched Nikita’s DNA.
Cellphone evidence by experts have also placed Pillay in the vicinity of the crime.
Hilda du Plessis told the court she was tasked to investigate and analyse cellphone records, including those of Pillay and Govindasamy, for the period between August 1 and September 26 and found there was no communication between the two men.
Du Plessis confirmed there was consistent communication between Jane and Pillay through SMSes and phone calls, even on the day of the incident, from early in the morning until 1.42pm.
According to the post-mortem results, Denisha was killed first and her body was hidden in the wardrobe.
Nikita, who had returned home from school, was the second to be killed, while their mother was strangled when she returned home from work later that evening.