15 years jail time for KZN teenager who killed his childhood friend

Published Aug 5, 2023


A KwaZulu Natal teenager has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars for killing his childhood friend.

Shaun Govender, 18, was sentenced this week in the KwaDukuza Regional Court.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, Govender was found guilty of killing Upkaar Basdeo,17, in February 2021.

The incident took place in Shakaskraal, Umhlali.

NPA provincial spokesperson Natasha Kara said: “The pair were friends since their childhood. On the day of the incident, Basdeo was at home with his sister, and at some point in the evening, she left him alone and went to fetch their mother from work.

“When the two women returned, they found him in a pool of blood in his bedroom. He had been stabbed nine times and his cellphone and laptop were missing.”

Kara said Govender was arrested a few days later after neighbours told police that they had seen him leaving Basdeo’s residence on the day of the murder.

“Govender had initially confessed, however, he denied the allegations during the trial.

“A trial within a trial was held to prove his confession and following this, Govender made admissions, confessing to the murder and theft.”

In court, Regional Court Prosecutor Paul Nel led the testimony of Basdeo’s mother.

“In her statement, she said that the murder had destroyed her and her family. She said that they have had to relocate several times as a result of the murder and were now relocating to Johannesburg.

“She described her son as a quiet, mild-mannered and respectful child who loved animals and his family.”

Explaining the sentence, Kara said since Govender was charged with unplanned or unpremeditated murder, he was jailed to 15 years.

“The 5 years imprisonment for theft will run concurrently, resulting in an effective sentence of 15 years imprisonment.”

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