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Durban - A Chatsworth landlord who shot at his tenants, killing his mother who tried to intervene, confessed to police that he did a terrible thing and wanted to get the incident off his chest.

This emerged at the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday where Vassa Govender, 56, is standing trial for the murder of his mother, Annamma Govender, 88, and four counts of attempted murder relating to his tenants.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The incident took place at his Moorcross home on April 9 last year.

The trial began with a twist as Govender terminated the services of his legal aid attorney. He told Magistrate Anand Maharaj he wanted to engage with a private attorney.

Maharaj warned Govender this was the second time he had done this and gave him an 11am deadline to have his attorney present because the trial was going to get under way. Govender later reported that his attorney could not be available and he was then told to represent himself because the court was not accepting any further delays.

Prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay called seven state witnesses, among them were policemen and the tenants at the time, Neville Jodash Moodley, 24, his girlfriend, Simone Subrayen, 20, and her mother, Sandra Subrayen, 50.

Simone told how Govender opened fire on her hitting her in the chest, with a bullet exiting through her shoulder. She said Govender screamed: “I want you’ll out of my house” as he shot at her. She admitted there had been an argument between her boyfriend and Govender over the playing of loud music on the Saturday leading up to the shooting.

Sandra and Moodley also told how Govender shot at them. Moodley was hit on his left forearm.

A policeman, Lieutenant Jack Walker Mulder, who took down Govender’s confession also testified.

He said Govender told him he did a terrible thing and he wanted to get it off his chest. He said Govender acknowledged he was wrong and wanted a speedy trial by telling the truth.

The policeman read out the contents of the confession. Some of which read: “After I closed the driveway with the padlock, I went to the safe in the house to get my firearm… I fired at him (Moodley). I followed him and fired further shots. I went into my room and got about 50 rounds. My mother was trying to protect Simone as I shot….”

The matter was adjourned to later this week.

Daily News