Dr Melvin Naidu
Durban - The woman arrested in connection with the murder of a prominent Durban orthopaedic surgeon was set free in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, a few hours after the doctor’s funeral.

The State said there was insufficient evidence to charge the woman.

The Daily News learnt that the businesswoman had previously been in a long relationship with another businessman who is also a politician, and the couple were engaged at one point.

She had spent four nights in custody before being released yesterday, without appearing in court.

Her lawyer, Ravindra Maniklall, said the woman had acted in self-defence.

Dr Melvin Naidu, 51, was heard screaming before he staggered from a plush room at the Capital Pearls hotel in uMhlanga and collapsed on Thursday.

It is believed that Naidu had booked into the hotel with the woman.

She was the only other person in the hotel room with him at the time.

Her family and friends arrived in court early yesterday in anticipation of her first appearance after she was arrested at the murder scene on Thursday, but her name was not placed on the court roll.

They were seen speaking to Maniklall and sat in court from the morning until after lunch, when Magistrate Vanitha Armu told them the State had decided not to prosecute her.

They declined to speak to the media.

Maniklall said he had made representations to the chief prosecutor and a decision was taken not to prosecute her. The woman was therefore not required to appear in court and was left through the rear exit, where her family and friends were waiting to shield her from the media.

She left the court driven in a red luxury car waiting for her at the exit.

Maniklall said the chief prosecutor had agreed to drop the case against the woman, because there was not enough evidence to prosecute her. He said the case was not enrolled, which technically means she is free on the charge of murder, but he could not exclude the possibility that charges would be laid against her at a later stage.

“The State will, however, continue with its investigation and then make a further decision,” he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said on the night of Naidu’s death there had allegedly been a disagreement between him and his companion.

Guests in adjacent rooms on the 13th floor of the hotel heard a commotion and had contacted security guards to investigate.

“The suspect was heard screaming for help, followed by the deceased also shouting for help. He fell on the floor outside the room, with a stab wound in the neck, and was certified dead.

Daily News