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Men accused of killing MUT lecturer Chanlall Dwarika indicted to the high court

Chanlall Dwarika

Chanlall Dwarika

Published Nov 8, 2023


The men accused of killing lecturer Chanlall Dwarika have been indicted to the Durban High Court.

The accused - Siyabonga Freeman Mahaye, 35, Thobani Mhlongo, 23, Kwanele Makhaye, 29, and Sihle Mkhize, 23 - appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. They face charges of murder, kidnapping, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Dwarika, 61, an electrical engineering lecturer at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), was conducting maintenance work at a property in Sea Cow Lake that he rented out when he was kidnapped on May 28.

CCTV footage from the area showed Dwarika speaking to three men, who then forced him into the rear of his Honda CRV.

When he failed to return home, his family reported him missing to the police. His pictures were circulated on social media and MUT held a press briefing calling for his safe return. But after a six-day search, his body was found in bushes in Inanda on June 3.

The post-mortem results revealed that his throat had been slit and partially decapitated.

According to the court indictment, Dwarika was in the process of renovating the property as he was going to sell it to a Pastor Miya.

Last year, during the renovations the materials were continuously being stolen and Miya allegedly suggested that Mahaye, Mlongo and Makhaye be allowed to stay at the property as long as they kept it secure and helped with the renovations pending the sale of the house.

Dwarika and the accused agreed that they would not pay rent and he would pay them for helping with the renovations and give them some spending money on a casual basis.

Despite the accused living on the property, the theft of materials continued and on May 26, Dwarika told the accused to vacate the property.

Two days later, Dwarika arrived at the property to do repairs and install a security gate when he was allegedly accosted by Mahaye, Mlongo and Makhaye. They allegedly forced him into the rear seat of his vehicle and drove off with him.

Dwarika was allegedly forced to give the accused his ATM card and pin. They drove to various ATMS to withdraw money. Mahaye took the card and left Dwarika with Mlongo and Makhaye.

At some point, after Mahaye left, allegedly Mkhize joined Dwarika and Mlongo and Makhaye. They continued to use his bank card to make purchases. At some stage during the night, they took Dwarika to a bushy area in Inanda where they allegedly slit his throat and burnt his vehicle.

The trial is set for February 2023.