Woman arrested for the murder of her grandmother, eight years after her death

Published Oct 24, 2023


Eight years after Govindamah Vengetsamy was found dead in her Tongaat home, her granddaughter has been charged for her brutal murder.

On Tuesday morning, Deandra Naidoo, 27, was granted R5,000 bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.

The mother of four was ordered to report to Tongaat South African Police Service (SAPS) as part of her bail conditions.

Vengetsamy, 75, was found dead on December 15, 2015, at her Arum Place home in Tongaat.

She was found by her grandson just before midnight.

In a sworn affidavit by investigating officer Rajan (RM) Govender as to why the State should oppose Naidoo’s bail, he said Naidoo lived a nomadic lifestyle and in all likelihood could evade trial.

Explaining the details leading up to the arrest, the Provincial Organised Crime Unit member said he was assigned the case in June 2021.

He said it is alleged that Naidoo and her boyfriend, Nivesh Simboo, who is a co-accused in this matter, had lived with Vengetsamy since July 2015.

“The deceased would care for Naidoo and her boyfriend by preparing meals for them and ensuring their well-being.”

Govender said it is alleged that Naidoo and Simboo were experiencing financial difficulty and began stealing Vengetsamy’s jewellery between September 2015 and December 2015 and selling it at a pawn shop.

“The deceased suspected that her jewellery was being stolen and informed family members that she was going to request the couple move out.”

Naidoo and her boyfriend allegedly left the home on the evening of December 14, 2015, and the deceased was found dead just before midnight.

“There was no sign of forced entry, and nothing was stolen from the house.”

Govender said the deceased was strangled to death and found laying face down on the floor.

He said Tongaat police had initially opened an inquest.

In July 2016, Magistrate Cele made a ruling in the inquest that he was unable to make a finding due to insufficient evidence.

“The family raised complaints with the Chief Prosecutor, and the matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2020.”

Govender said he took over the investigations, but the Covid-19 pandemic had caused delays.

In July of this year, the decision was taken to charge Naidoo and Simboo.

Simboo, who is currently in Westville Prison serving a sentence, was charged with Vengetsamy’s murder on October 10, while Naidoo handed herself over to police two days later.

Govender said he believed Naidoo should not be granted bail as she lived a nomadic lifestyle and would try to evade trial as she faced a Schedule 6 offence, which if found guilty, would impose a life sentence.

The court heard that Naidoo’s youngest child is 14-months-old and that she worked in administration.

The matter was adjourned to November.

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