A SHACKLED Colin Pillay at the park where he claimed he was gambling.     Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA)
A SHACKLED Colin Pillay at the park where he claimed he was gambling. Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA)

‘I was gambling by candlelight’: Phoenix triple murder accused

By CHARLENE SOMDUTH Time of article published Aug 16, 2019

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Durban - TRIPLE murder accused Colin Pillay claims he was gambling by candlelight in silence when a Phoenix mother and her two daughters were killed in their home.

Pillay, 46, a tow-truck driver, was charged with killing Jane Govindasamy, 45, and her daughters, Denisha, 22, and Nikita, 16, at their home in Longcroft, Phoenix, in September 2018.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and theft.

A week ago, Pillay took his Legal Aid attorney Amanda Hulley; prosecutor Sheryl Naidu; and investigating officer Bob Pillay to the park where he claimed he was gambling at the time.

It is located metres away from the victims’ home.

But in the Durban High Court yesterday, a security guard testified that no gambling took place on the night of the murders.

Sashen Govender, who worked at KZN VIP Protection, said he was stationed at an adjacent service station and patrolled the area.

“I began my shift at 6pm, and it ended at 6am. I patrolled the perimeter of the fence every hour to ensure no criminals jumped over to rob the service station. The park is dark, and there is no light. There was no gambling or any other activity taking place.”

He said he was stationed at the service station for a year, and had never witnessed any gambling.

“ If there was gambling taking place in the park, I would have heard noises,” he said.

During cross-examination, Hulley told the court that Pillay - who was nicknamed “Numbers” - insisted that he had been gambling.

“He was in a crouched position and gambling by candlelight in silence,” said Hulley.

In response, Govender said he had a torch - which was brighter than a candle - and if Pillay had been gambling he would have seen him.

He added that when one gambled it was never in silence, as gamblers were loud when they won or had disagreements.

On Monday, the court heard that Jane’s husband, Sagren Govindasamy, had an alibi for the time of the killings.

Janet Crouch, the human resources manager at Hendok, the company where Govindasamy was employed, confirmed he was at work from 2pm to 10pm.

Last week, Warrant Officer Kholeka Mkhize, a detective in the cybercrimes investigation unit, spoke of affectionate texts Pillay sent to Jane before her death.

He said on the morning of the killings, Pillay texted Jane wanting to know if she was dressed warmly.

Pillay sent another text telling her he loved her, and 16 minutes later he sent a third message wanting to know why she was not replying.

Mkhize said Pillay had sent three other messages.

The messages were about Jane allegedly being in a relationship with another person.

Around midnight Pillay sent another text, questioning why she had not responded to all his messages or to say goodnight to him.

The trial has been adjourned to Monday. 


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