Former Brooklyn cop superintendent faces charges of murdering second wife
The wife's youngest daughter took the stand first in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Denise Stravelli Bramdau, the daughter of the then 57-year-old Dawn Basdeo, informed the court that she had spoken to her mother via a video call a few days before her disappearance. Her mother was reported missing on June 4, 2018, and was later presumed dead.
Bramdau said the following day she could not get hold of her mother and started questioning Prem Emmanuel Basdeo, her husband and former superintendent for the Sydenham police, about her whereabouts.
She said that upon enquiring on the Friday, he told her that her mother had gone to have blood tests conducted and see friends.
Outside the court, family spokesperson and attorney Kate Llewellyn-Smith said Bramdau told the court that her husband had found Dawn’s handbag under the couple’s bed with her prescription glasses she hardly went out without.
Bramdau said it was only on her insistence that Basdeo finally conceded that her mother was missing and he did not know where she was.
A second witness, a temporary housekeeper, also told the court she was supposed to meet Dawn on the Thursday at her home as arranged to sort out her permanent employment.
She said she did not find Dawn at home and was instead informed by Basdeo that his wife had rushed to attend a meeting.
Basdeo is charged with murder, perjury and defeating the ends of justice in connection with his wife’s disappearance.
Her car was found abandoned in Soweto two days after she was reported missing.
The former police officer reportedly submitted three contradictory affidavits to investigators and pointed out several locations where the body could be found, without any luck. He had previously been acquitted of the murder of his first wife in Durban.
The trial continues today.