''Larney, please find the person who murdered my stekkie,' accused in Phoenix triple murder
Durban - “Larney, please find the person who murdered my stekkie (girlfriend) and her daughters.”
This was murder accused Colin Pillay’s plea to Warrant Officer Praveen Sukdeo after the bodies of Jane Govindasamy and her daughters were found at their home in Longcroft, Phoenix.
Pillay, 46, a tow truck driver, is on trial at the Durban High Court for the murders of Govindasamy, 45, a receptionist, Denisha, 22, and Nikita, 16. The accused, who was also charged with theft, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The mother and daughters were found dead in September 2018 by Govindasamy’s husband, Sagren
On Tuesday, Sukdeo, of the Organised Crime Unit, said on September 21 last year, while at the crime scene, he was notified by another officer that Jane’s boyfriend was also there.
“I proceeded to the accused, who was standing a few metres away from the crime scene. I introduced myself and immediately noticed scratch marks on his face, neck, and hands.”
He said when he asked Pillay about the injuries, Pillay claimed a gearbox he was repairing fell on him.
Sukdeo said he confiscated a Nokia cellphone in Pillay’s possession.
“He handed over the cellphone freely and willingly. He then said: ‘Larney, please find the person who murdered my stekkie and her daughters’.”
Sukdeo said the accused told him that Govindasamy used to give him money. “He looked normal and didn’t show any signs of emotion. I asked him to wait at the scene so a doctor could look at his injuries. I wanted to see if his injuries were consistent with his claims.”
The court heard that when Sukdeo was called back to the house, Pillay assured him he would wait. However, when Sukdeo returned, Pillay was gone.
While inside the house, a family member recovered a black plastic handle from a knife. Sukdeo found a silver blade in the bedding in Govindasamy’s room and a Samsung cellphone under the pillows in her daughters’ bedroom.
Pillay denied speaking to Sukdeo after the triple murder. He also claimed that from the time of his arrest at Kams Guest Lodge in Palmview, Phoenix, until he arrived at the area’s police station, he was assaulted. He further claimed a plastic glove was placed on his head.
Earlier on Tuesday, fingerprint investigator and expert Sergeant Bonginkosi Luxwazi, from SAPS Local Crime Records Centre, said he discovered Denisha’s body squashed in a wardrobe.
“She was lying face up, her legs had been folded to fit into the wardrobe.”
She sustained multiple stab wounds to the neck.
Govindasamy was strangled and suffocated. Her body was found on the floor of her daughters’ bedroom. Nikita was strangled and found face-down on her bed.
The court heard Luxwazi used a high-intensity light and found what looked like smeared fingerprints on the television. It matched Pillay’s fingerprints. He said he believed the television, which was left in the kitchen, was removed from the lounge by the suspect.
He swabbed a water bottle, cigarette butts found outside the flat, and the knife found near the home for analysis.
On Monday, a DNA expert from Pretoria, Regina Cecilia Janse van Rensburg, told the court bloodstains were found on Pillay’s jeans, takkies, and a jacket. The stains on his jeans tested positive for Nikita’s DNA.
At the start of the trial his legal aid attorney, Amanda Hulley, read out a statement in which Pillay claimed he was gambling and fishing at the time of the murders. The trial continues.