Durban - A young mother on Friday night told how only the thought of saving her children stopped her from collapsing after she was allegedly shot twice by her enraged landlord.
Speaking from her bed at Durban’s RK Khan Hospital, Simone Subrayen said: “He hit me twice, and I remember seeing blood gushing out of my mouth. I was feeling weak, but I thought about my two young kids and I managed to run to my neighbour’s house for safety,” she said.
Subrayen said she was grateful that their lives had been spared. “I just kept on thinking about my kids. I think that’s what made me not go down when he was firing at me,” she said.
Meanwhile, her traumatised 18-month-old toddler has been removed from the area after seeing his father, Neville Jodash Moodley, allegedly being shot by their landlord outside the Seafern Road, Crossmoor, house in Chatsworth.
The landlord allegedly then turned the gun on his own mother, fatally wounding her.
The funeral of the mother will be held on Saturday.
On Friday night, members of the family were too traumatised to speak to The Independent on Saturday.
Moodley, 24, and his girlfriend, Simone Subrayen, 20, had been renting the outbuilding for two months.
The couple also have a five-month-old baby. Subrayen’s mother, Sandra Subrayen, also lives with the couple.
The attack, the second brutal one in the area in recent months, has led to the area councillor and the community calling for a meeting to discuss moral regeneration.
In January, the Chatsworth community was rocked by another attack when Rajan Kandasamy beat his wife and two teenage children to death with a gada, a traditional Indian mace carried by the Hindu god Hanuman.
Subrayen said relations between the couple and the landlord had been cordial before the pair were involved in a heated argument with him earlier this week.
She said the landlord on Tuesday had threatened to “sort them out” after complaining about the loud music they had played over the weekend.
“Heated words were exchanged the day before the shooting, but we didn’t think he would resort to violence.
“We didn’t think he would actually shoot us, wanting to kill us,” she said, her voice weakening as she painfully tried to move her upper body.
On Friday her partner, Neville Moodley, explained the chain of events leading up to the shooting.
The two of them had returned home from shopping, and his car had been parked in front of the driveway while Subrayen unpacked the groceries.
He said the 56-year-old landlord arrived shortly afterwards and started hooting continuously.
Moodley then reversed and parked at his mother’s house a few doors away and, as he walked back home, the landlord walked towards him.
The man then allegedly pulled out his gun and opened fire on him. He said he felt one bullet hit him near the elbow, and he then ran for his life, never thinking that the man would harm his girlfriend.
As the shooting unfolded, the couple’s older child stood outside, watching in horror as his father was shot.
“He has been hysterical since seeing his father being shot,” said Subrayen.
The toddler, she said, was taken to a paediatrician for counselling.
“We don’t want him to come back to Chatsworth as yet, because he will be reminded of what he saw, so he’s away on holiday,” she said.
The couple’s five-month-old baby girl and Sandra were also shot at, but they escaped unscathed.
On Friday night, Subrayen gave her version of the horrific incident.
She said the couple had just returned from Chatsworth Mall at about 6pm when the attack happened.
“I offloaded the groceries, and Neville went to park his bakkie at his mother’s house, which is on the same road,” she said.
Soon after walking into the house, she heard gunshots and her boyfriend screaming for help.
She rushed to investigate. “The landlord kept on saying: ‘You’ve made a fool of me for the last time’, as he fired at Neville,” she said.
Pleading for Moodley’s life only infuriated the landlord, who turned his firearm on Subrayen and continued shooting, she said.
Moodley was treated for the wound to his arm and discharged.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident.
He said a man was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.
“It is alleged that a 56-year-old man had an argument with his tenants,” said Zwane.
The landlord is expected to appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Area and MF councillor Ravi Govender said he was concerned by the recent violent incidents, adding that an urgent intervention was needed before more people lost their lives in heated disputes.
“It has really become sad the way people settle disputes nowadays,” he said.
“People have lost their morals and values. We need a huge meeting in the area to remind people about morals and values, and that disputes can be resolved without resorting to violence,” said Govender.
His comments come after another Chatsworth resident, Rajan Kandasamy, attacked and killed his family in an alleged fit of rage.
It is alleged that Kandasamy, 44, beat his wife Mala, 41, an admin clerk at an engineering firm, daughter Melarisa, 18, and son Megandren, 17, to death with a gada – a traditional Indian mace carried by the Hindu god Hanuman – at their home.
He then handed himself over to police, apparently after being urged to do so by his family.
In his defence, Kandasamy, a supermarket merchandiser, claimed to have no recollection of the killing and was sent to Fort Napier for an assessment.
He claimed his mental illness began during his matric year. He had spent three months in a hospital and had been on medication.
A full psychiatrist’s report is expected to be handed to the court on May 7.
The report will then be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and a decision will be taken if he is fit to stand trial.