Durban - Keep your money, all R30 000 of it. This was the message slain Kurtlee Pillay’s mother gave the family of one of the young men accused of killing her 20-year old graphic designer son, who was stabbed and dragged under a vehicle in November 2014.
A bitter Tracey Pillay was testifying in the Durban High Court, which on Friday heard a plea bargain agreement by Bilal Tayob’s lawyer that recommended the payment as part of his sentence.
“Money can never bring him back,” she told Acting Judge Cassim Sardiwalla, who explained to her that the offer was not compensation but to “reduce the financial pain, if you want”.
However, after on Friday’s hearing Pillay still viewed the payment as an “absolute insult” and a “slap in the face”.
The agreement called for Tayob to be sentenced to 10 years’ jail, suspended for five years, including three years’ correctional supervision.
“I don’t accept the (money) offer,” Pillay, a credit manager for a financial company, said from the witness stand.
“And it’s not about the monetary value. The fact that they have attached that to someone’s life is ludicrous. I have every intention of going the legal route, whether I win or not.
“My son was not for sale.”
She also referred to 28-year-old Tayob as “the elder of the accused” and a “grown man” whose story was “not correct and true”.
Sentence for his co-accused, Dinesh Nana, 23, was pitched at 12 years, four of them suspended for five years.
Both on Friday pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery and murder, and claimed to be remorseful.
A third man, Blain Raman, labelled the ringleader in both Nana’s and Tayob’s affidavits, can expect to be rearrested any time after Thursday when the two are scheduled to be sentenced, according to investigating officer Monty Naidoo.
Raman was released for lack of evidence by the Durban Magistrate’s Court in May due to insufficient evidence linking him to the crime.
According to the other two, Raman had set a trap to lure Kurtlee by calling him to help with a broken down car in Sherwood because he needed to be “sorted out” for interfering in Raman’s relationship with his girlfriend.
This led to Raman forcing him into his car and swearing at him while driving around, then stabbing him repeatedly, they said.
He later pushed him over a metal barrier at the roadside.
However, on seeing Kurtlee staggering after he had started to drive away, an enraged Raman returned to Kurtlee and drove over his body, which became stuck in his undercarriage and he was subsequently dragged 50m. His body broke free only when Raman accelerated to drive over a speed ramp.
The court heard that Raman, Nana and Tayob had been on a cocaine and alcohol binge, which they continued after taking Kurtlee’s car and cellphone to the Point area to sell for drugs.
Kurtlee’s mother, commenting on the possibility of Raman being arrested, said: “If the two corroborate and present themselves as good witnesses (against Raman), we have a chance.”
She said the girlfriend in question was the mother of Tayob’s child and had been a friend of her son’s at Sanstri College, where Kurtlee had matriculated in 2010.
Both Nana and Tayob have previous convictions: Nana on two counts of robbery and one of assault, in 2014, and Tayob for theft and drug possession in 2011.
The court also heard they had been in rehabilitation programmes and were no longer using drugs.
The affidavit revealed that Tayob had at one point objected to Raman’s callous behaviour and asked to go home.
According to both Nana’s and Tayob’s affidavits, Raman had said that if they all stuck together, no one would find out about their crime.
Tayob had agreed to carry on with Nana and Raman upon hearing there was another opportunity to take drugs.
Nana is in custody for a separate robbery case, while Tayob is out on R5 000 bail.
They will be sentenced on Thursday, the process having been delayed because Correctional Services has yet to confirm that they know the address where Tayob is likely to be under house arrest.
The two cut sorry figures seated beside their lawyer, Jay Naidoo, as they signed documents that included gory pictures of Kurtlee after the attack.
Nana wore a rosary around his neck, Tayob wore a fez.