Wife plays dead under husband’s body
Durban - The wounded wife of a North Coast farm owner who was killed in an attack on Monday acted dead as she lay under her husband’s blood-soaked body, slumped over in their crashed bakkie.
The Asheville couple came under attack just after 5am in Glendale near KwaDukuza (Stanger), in full view of their 13-year-old son, who was standing in the yard.
Rajpaul Andhee, 62, had just stepped out of his white Nissan 1400 bakkie to close the driveway gate when two men brandishing 9mm pistols leapt from the bushes and shot him at point-blank range.
His wife Kamla, 57, who was inside the bakkie, started screaming when she saw her husband being shot in the chest.
Rajpaul staggered to the car and jumped in, trying to escape his attackers, but as he drove off he lost control and crashed down into the back veranda of an empty house nearby. The attackers ran after the bakkie.
Kamla’s brother, Verulam policeman Warrant Officer Pradeet Indarjee, said the couple’s son had witnessed the attack.
Indarjee said more shots were fired after the bakkie crashed into the back veranda of the house.
Kamla, shot in her right hip, acted dead after being covered by her husband’s slumped body, he said.
Rajpaul was shot five times in the chest and there was also one, or possibly two, bullet wounds at the back of his head. There were 13 shell casings found, family said.
Two farmworkers who were getting into the back of the bakkie as they were leaving the property fled when they heard gunshots. They were unhurt.
“The family is taking this very badly. My sister had to be rushed to a private hospital.
“The bullet lodged in her groin. An operation could not be done because her blood pressure was very high,” Indarjee said. “Her hand had also fractured after the car plunged into the wall.”
The policeman was at work when he got the distress call from his other sister, Thasnee. He then raced to the scene.
He blamed a violent service delivery protest on the R74 near Glendale for delaying the investigation after the road had to be closed in the morning.
For safety reasons all vehicles, including police vehicles and the mortuary van, were turned away at a roadblock a kilometre away from the protesters, who had been throwing stones.
“I think the intention was to kill him (Rajpaul) because nothing had been stolen from them,” Indarjee said.
“If their intention was to hijack his car, they would not have shot him like they did.
“All the farmers who visited the family home are shocked and they cannot come to terms with the killing.”
The couple were part-time fruit farmers and owned 18 hectares of land.
They had been on their way to work at Stanger Training Centre, a school for children with disabilities.
Andhee drove the school bus while his wife worked as a nurse.
They had three adult children. The oldest son-in-law, Shaun Maharaj, said that the funeral would take place on Saturday from 10am to 2pm at the Santhan Mundal Hall in Stanger, followed by a family memorial at the farm afterwards.
School principal, Kishore Hira, said Andhee, who worked at the school for 13 years, had been a humble and hardworking person who was popular in Stanger.
“At Christmas he was the main supplier of litchis in town.”
Rajpaul’s niece, Emritha Maharaj, 48, described the killing as a senseless one that had robbed children of their futures.
“I do not think my aunt will ever find the strength to carry on working for the school,” she said.
Prem Balram of Reaction Unit South Africa, a security firm, told the Daily News that Andhee had a 9mm firearm but that it was not stolen.
He said his guards used a helicopter to search for the suspects, without success.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said a case of murder was being investigated and that there were no arrests as yet.
Zwane said the motive of the killing was not known.