Nana was being cross-examined on Monday in the Durban High Court by murder accused Blaine Raman’s lawyer, Anand Nepaul.
Nana, Raman and Bilal Tayob were arrested for Pillay’s murder in November 2014.
Charges were withdrawn against Raman in 2015 because of insufficient evidence and were reinstated after Nana and Tayob were sentenced for their role.
Tayob had received a suspended sentence.
It is alleged that Raman believed Pillay had told Raman’s then girlfriend that he was involved in relationships with other women.
On Thursday, Nana testified to how he, Raman and Tayob lured Pillay and stabbed him repeatedly before he was thrown over a metal barrier at the side of the road in Sherwood.
On Monday, during cross-examination, Nana revealed that his evidence-in-chief differed from what was supplied to the court when he had pleaded guilty.
He said his legal team had advised him to go along with Tayob’s version.
Nana claimed their lawyer at the time sought to favour Tayob.
Nana said he had wanted to tell the truth about what had transpired on the day Pillay was killed.
“My legal representation told me it may look easier for Bilal than me. I was told that if I wanted them to help me, I would have to help them,” Nana said.
Nepaul asked Nana why he did not change his legal representation, and he cited a previous case where he felt his matter was not adequately dealt with by the pro-bono service.
When asked why his evidence-in-chief differed to his statement supplied to the court, Nana said he had had time to think about his sentence.
“I was not willing to accept the sentence. I also looked at my father’s health and my family’s financial stability,” he said.
Nana said he went along with the plea bargain because he thought he could get a lighter sentence. He admitted that claims made in the plea bargain only implicated Raman as the assailant who stabbed Pillay.
Under cross-examination, Nana said he did not make his statement to police about his involvement in Pillay’s murder freely and voluntarily.
He claimed he was slapped and kicked by police while at the Sydenham police station on the day they were arrested.
The trial continues.