Rackelle Govindasamy and her sister Denisha with their mother, Jane. File picture
Rackelle Govindasamy and her sister Denisha with their mother, Jane. File picture

Hung up on true crime stories after Devilsdorp? Here's 5 crimes that shook KZN in recent years

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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The Krugersdorp murders showcased in Devilsdorp are by no means the only horrific crimes South Africans have seen over the past few years.

Here’s a look at some of cases that dominated headlines in KwaZulu-Natal in recent years:

Pinetown father hangs four children

A Pinetown father who hanged his three biological children and killed his stepdaughter in September 2019 was sentenced to four life terms. Sibusiso Mpungose pleaded guilty the following month to hanging his children aged 4, 6, and 10 at their family home in Wyebank. His 16-year-old stepdaughter was strangled with a bathrobe belt and found in the bush in Padfield Park, Pinetown. In his guilty plea handed in at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in November 2019, Mpungose said he had been experiencing problems with his wife and she wanted a divorce. He said this left him devastated and he decided to kill himself and his children.

Phoenix tow truck driver kills lover and puts her daughter’s body in a suitcase

A Phoenix tow truck driver who killed his lover and her two daughters was sentenced to three life terms in October 2019 in the Durban High Court. Colin Pillay, 47, murdered Jane Govindasamy, 45, and her daughters Denisha, 22, and Nikita, 16, in their Longcroft, Phoenix, flat on September 20, 2018.

Pillay went into the home and armed himself with a knife after which Denisha was attacked, suffering fatal stab wounds to the neck. He then bound her hands and hid her body inside a wardrobe.

Nikita returned home from school and she was allegedly strangled to death and placed her on the bed as though she was asleep.

When Jane arrived home after 5pm she was accosted and a struggle ensued. A sock was stuffed into her mouth and she was stabbed in the head and strangled to death.

The accused stole R1 850 cash, three Samsung cellphones and an LG television set before fleeing.

He pleaded not guilty, saying he had been playing cards on the night of the murders.

Verulam man repeatedly rapes stepdaughter after mother’s death

A Verulam man who repeatedly raped his 10-year-old stepdaughter after the death of her mother was sentenced to nine life terms and a further 173 years imprisonment on 33 counts of sexual crimes, all of which will run concurrently.

Durban High Court Judge Mohini Moodley described the accused as immoral, dark and narcissistic when passing sentence in March this year.

Apart from the repeated rape, it was found that he forced the child to dress in adult lingerie, do household chores, smoke cannabis and perform indecent acts on him, herself and others.

Miguel Louw kidnapped, his body found in shallow grave near killer’s home.

The man responsible the kidnap and murder of Grade 4 pupil Miguel Louw was jailed in May.

Durban High Court Judge Jacqueline Henriques jailed Mohammed Vahed Ebrahim, 46, sentencing him to 25 years for the premeditated murder of Miguel.

He was also convicted to eight years on the kidnapping charge and 18 months for theft.

Miguel was reported missing in July 2018. He was last seen at an eatery near his Sydenham home with Ebrahim. Three months later, his decomposed body was found in vacant land near Ebrahim’s home in Phoenix.

In December, Ebrahim was convicted of murder, kidnapping and theft, despite maintaining his innocence throughout the two-year trial.

Sandra Moonsamy kidnapped and held for six months, four suspects to go on trial

For six months Westville businesswoman Sandra Moonsamy was missing. The mother of two and financial at Crossmoor Transport Plant, was kidnapped at the corner of Stapleton Road and M13 in Pinetown.

She was found six months later in Witbank in the Mpumalanga province on November 7, 2019. Four suspects aged between 30 and 34 were subsequently arrested.

They face charges of kidnapping, extortion and attempted murder. Their trial is expected to start in early 2022.

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