Durban- PHOENIX triple murder accused Colin Pillay spent yesterday on the witness stand, battling to convince the court that he was not at the scene where his girlfriend and her daughters were murdered last year.
Pillay, 46, spoke softly at times when he discussed his relationship with his girlfriend of nine years, Jane Govindasamy, and the relationship he had with her daughters, Nikita, 16, and Denisha, 22,
He said he was friends with the daughters, although it had taken Denisha a while to warm to him as she did not like the idea of his having an affair with her mother.
However, they became friends as the years went by and he would sometimes go out with them on their birthdays.
Cross-examined by senior state advocate Cheryl Naidu, however, he could not say if Denisha was engaged or not, or if she was employed.
He spoke up defensively when put on the spot about where he was on the night of the murders.
Pillay insisted that he had been at a car wash in Phoenix, and had also spent time gambling at a park near the victims’ home.
He often changed his version, when pressed for answers by Naidu, about where exactly he was, whom he was with and the likelihood of gambling at the park at night.
He insisted that he had gambled at a park near Phoenix Plaza, claiming that the friends he gambled with could be traced.
He said that on the day of the murders, he went to a car wash, then to his parents-in-law’s house, and then went fishing with his brother before retiring at Kam’s Lodge in Palmview, Phoenix, with a woman he met at the lodge.
“I went to Kam’s Lodge because I wanted to spend some time outside. I spent some time with a lady I met at the lodge,” he said, adding that he went to the lodge specifically to meet the woman.
Pillay was alone at the lodge when he was arrested on September 23. It is believed the woman had already left.
Pillay has pleaded not guilty to the September 20, 2018 murders of Govindasamy, 45, and her daughters.
He had earlier admitted that he was in a relationship with Govindasamy, and knew that she was married.
Their bodies were found in the house by Govindasamy’s husband, Sagren Govindasamy, the next day.
Pillay told the court that he had heard through a friend that the police wanted to speak to him and he was asked to go to the murder scene.
Naidu argued that Pillay’s version that he was gambling at the park until late that evening was not true, saying there was no lighting at the park. However, Pillay insisted there was some light and that they had used a candle.
Naidu then confronted him with allegations that there was no gambling at the park, and asked why he never got any of the friends he gambled with to confirm his alibi. Pillay said he did not know where these friends lived.
“These are serious charges. You are facing three counts of murder. You could have asked your attorney to help you look for these friends to support your alibi,” Naidu replied.
Pillay said he did not think it important to tell anyone or ask his attorney to help find these friends as the police were not interested in his alibi.