Sershen Arunajallem.
Sershen Arunajallem.

Durban man accused of stealing copper beaten, chained and dumped in a car boot

By Charlene Somduth Time of article published Jan 6, 2022

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Durban: A Durban family is demanding justice for their relative whose body was dumped in the boot of a car after he was beaten and bound with chains, for allegedly stealing.

Sershen Arunajallem, 36, from Shallcross, an employee at a trucking company, was found dead in the boot of the car by police in Clairwood last Tuesday.

His attackers alleged that he was stealing copper wires from a car.

Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a police spokesperson, said at 1.35pm police were patrolling the area when they received information about a man being assaulted by five people on Flower Road in Clairwood.

"When police arrived at the scene they noticed a group of men standing along the road and questioned them about the man who was being assaulted. The men denied having any knowledge of such an assault in the area. Police officers became suspicious and made further inquiries in the area."

Mbele said while investigating the police noticed a parked vehicle with chains hanging out and proceed to inspect the vehicle.

"While inspecting the vehicle, they discovered the body of a man with severe assault injuries. His hands and legs were tied up with a chain which was also secured around his neck with a padlock."

She said three of the men, the owner of the vehicle, his son, and a friend were arrested and charged for murder.

"The other two suspects managed to flee the scene and are still at large. The deceased was allegedly assaulted after he was caught removing copper wires from the vehicle."

The accused aged between 29 and 45 appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The matter was remanded to January 7.

One of Arunajallem's relative who declined to be named, said the family found out about his death from a friend later that afternoon.

"His father went straight to the Brighton Beach Police Station seeking answers. His attackers are claiming that Sershen was stealing copper wires. As a family, we know he would never do such a thing. He was an upright young man with morals. He had no reason to steal as he was employed."

The relative said the family wanted justice.

"What they did to Sershen was inhumane. If they believed he was stealing what gives them the right to take the law into their own hands and take his life. They should have called the police. They did not just beat him, they killed him and chained him. We can only imagine the pain he must have been going through. Our hearts are torn just by thinking what he went through."

The relative said Arunajallem's parents and brothers were leaning on each other for support.

"His older brother lives in Malaysia. He is a chemical engineer. His younger brother lives in Johannesburg. He is an IT engineer. They were both in Durban for the holidays. They shared a close bond with Sershen. His older brother has now resigned from his job to be with his parents during this difficult time."

Mbele added: "Once again police warn communities to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. There is no place in society for vigilantism and we will not tolerate those who have no respect for the rule of law."

Arunajallem was cremated at the Mobeni Heights Cemetry on Sunday.

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