This emerged in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court in the bail application of her husband, Kasilal Singh, yesterday.
The 44-year-old, a supervisor at the SA Post Office, is accused of slitting her throat and setting alight their home using engine cleaner. He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and arson.
The court heard that Avina was found with a cord around her neck and a deep cut to her throat. She sustained blunt-force injury to her head, and her body and feet were burnt. She was covered with a duvet.
In his affidavit for bail, read out by his attorney, Rajen Nathalall, Singh stated that they had separated a week before her death - after he confronted her about pictures he had found on her laptop of a naked man, as well as allegations that she had been suspended from her job because of fraud.
She then allegedly left the home with their two daughters, aged 17 and 10, and moved in with her mother. Despite this, he claimed she visited their home daily.
The court heard that a day before the murder, he called her to discuss their marriage. She came to the home the following day (May 3), after dropping their older daughter off at school.
“The discussions began in the kitchen and she confessed to having an affair with a man named Donovan for eight months.”
The court heard that the nude pictures were sent by another man named Dwyane. Singh claimed he questioned how she could do this to them, and an argument ensued. “She picked up a kitchen knife and the fight progressed to the bedroom where she also attempted to discharge a Taser. While defending myself I slit her throat.”
Singh stated then that he sprinkled engine cleaner throughout the home before setting it on fire and then fleeing. The court heard that he went to Rainbow Accommodation in Port Edward before handing himself to the police.
In opposing bail, investigating officer Warrant Officer Kippie Pillay argued that the murder was premeditated and that he set the home alight to destroy evidence.
“After the murder, there is video footage of him at the Midas in Mount Edgecombe purchasing 2.5 litres of engine cleaner.”
Pillay said soon after returning home from Midas, CCTV footage from a neighbour’s home showed him leaving the property.
“Thereafter, the home catches alight. His neighbours called to inform him but he claimed he was in Tongaat and would return but he never came back.”
Pillay said when he reported to the police, he claimed he had been hijacked and could not recall what had happened.
“We found his car abandoned. Inside (the car) was a Spar shopping bag with bloodstained wet wipes, as well as a kitchen knife. We found a receipt for a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label, which was purchased hours after the murder.
“When I met him at the station, he had a bite mark on his left hand, (a) flesh wound to his middle finger, (and) a slight knife wound to the right thumb.”
Pillay said with help of Nathalall, he began to co-operate and informed them that he spent the days after the murder in Rainbow Accommodation.
“CCTV footage confirmed he made the purchase at Tops Spar. He checked in Rainbow Accommodation from May 3 to 5. He fled when he saw a police vehicle, thinking they had come for him.”
Pillay told the court the accused left his belongings behind. “The items were a blue Pick * Pay cooler bag, grey sweater and blue underwear, which were all bloodstained, as well as black shorts. We also found the deceased’s bank cards and a gold chain.”
Pillay said in addition, there were plasters, more wet wipes and gentian violet.
“We oppose bail given the nature of the murder and the degree of violence used. It was premeditated because he had hated what she had done.”
Another reason to oppose bail, he said, was that Singh tried to destroy evidence by setting the house on fire and fleeing.
“He made no attempt to find out about the well-being of his two minor children who, in fact, don’t want him out on bail.”
Avina’s brother, Avish Rambarun, told POST: “He is making all sorts of claims for his defence. They had marital problems for many years and he was very abusive towards her. We are praying he gets a life a sentence.”
The bail hearing was adjourned to May 30.