Durban - The mother of slain actress, Ashrika Seeripat, has been charged with her killing.
During July this year, Seeripat, 42, was killed during what appeared to be a robbery at her family home in Umzinto.
At the time she was at home with Bongi Mbili, 53, who was employed as a domestic worker.
Mbili initially told police that a group of men had held them at gunpoint and demanded cash. During the incident Seeripat was allegedly suffocated and her body was found on the side of her bed.
Shortly after the incident, police arrested Mbili. She appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate's Court and initially indicated she would apply for bail. She then changed her mind.
Last Tuesday, police arrested Devika Seeripat, 72, Ashrika's mother. She was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit the murder of her daughter.
She appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Thursday last week and was released on bail of R1 000.
A day after police arrested Seeripat, they arrested Madodandina Mkula, 42, the family's gardener. He was charged with murder and will appear in court later this week for a possible bail application.
Ashrika’s sibling, told POST the death of her sister had left her family seeking answers as well as justice.
“In our attempts to get to the truth, our mother has been implicated in the murder of Ashrika. While we knew Ashrika struggled with her mental health over the past two decades, we have now learned that we did not truly understand the extent of it.
“Our mother has now revealed and spoken of the years and years of unbearable verbal, emotional, mental and physical abuse our parents were subjected to. Abuse, which only escalated toward her after our father’s passing, and left her living alone with Ashrika in the family home.
“Hearing of the suffering she quietly endured over the years has been incredibly painful. It leaves us conflicted as we absolutely do not condone or support the violent act that was executed to end the life of our sister. We also cannot fathom what kind of despair could have led to such a decision.
“We can only hope that justice is served to all those who were involved in Ashrika’s death. As we come to terms with the loss of a sibling, as well as the implications of our mother’s involvement, we ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time.”
Seeripat was an actress and she featured in Broken Promises 2, a local movie.
Shortly after her death, Kumaran Naidu, the director of the movie, said: “I was devastated to hear that Ashrika had passed on in such a manner. I met her through the MovieTech Film College when I was casting roles for the movie. Ashrika stood out because of her bubbly personality. She had a lot of energy and she was enthusiastic to learn.”
Naidu said she wanted to be a world-renowned actress.
“The entire cast is in shock. Nobody deserves to go that way. I pray she gets justice.”
Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, confirmed the arrests.
She said a case of murder and conspiracy to commit murder was being investigated by Umzinto SAPS.