Basil Underhill with his attorney Shaheen Seedat. Picture: Chanelle Lutchman

Durban - The Pam Golding intern estate agent found guilty of masterminding the murder of retired principal Gona Pillay has maintained his innocence. 

Lungani Basil Underhill has been granted leave to appeal his life sentence which was handed down in the Durban High Court earlier today. 

His co-accused Fredboy Msomi also plans to appeal. Msomi was convicted of a further charge of theft and received an additional five years in jail. 

Sibonelo Braveman Underhill did not appeal his sentence. All three men have reported to Westville Prison. 

A date for the appeal has not been finalised. 

The trio were also given 13 years for the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

Shortly after court proceedings Basil's attorney Shaheen Seedat said their decision to appeal was based on the fact they he believed another court would arrive at a different conclusion.

"The honorable court failed to take into consideration that Mr Pillay did not see him stabbing him but only assumed that it was accused one because he last saw accused 1 with a knife in his hand."

Acting Judge Naresh Bhika found that Basil was the "mastermind behind the well planned murder."