Man dies 36 days af­ter high­way rob­bery

Post - - Front Page - CHAR­LENE SOMDUTH

YOUNG tech­ni­cian Mar­lin Pil­lay died on Mon­day, just over a month af­ter ruth­less rob­bers laid a trap on Chatsworth’s Hig­gin­son High­way and waited for the car he was trav­el­ling in to crash be­fore pounc­ing.

Pil­lay, 26, was in a coma at RK Khan Hospi­tal since the at­tack on Au­gust 13.

He and his friend, Shane Madaray, 28, a store­room con­troller, were trav­el­ling from Moor­ton and were at the Croft­dene off-ramp at 4.30am when Madaray, driv­ing his VW Golf, tried to avoid a street light pole placed along the road, but hit a boul­der that was also there.

The child­hood friends had been go­ing fish­ing.

Shilton Madu­ray told POST on Mon­day the tyre burst and a rim broke.

“Shane lost con­trol of his ve­hi­cle and went over the bar­rier. The car som­er­saulted and landed on its roof in an in­for­mal set­tle­ment along­side the high­way. They were yanked out the ve­hi­cle by a group of men who then dragged them for more than 100m be­fore strip­ping the men of their cloth­ing and valu­ables.”

Shilton said his brother had sus­tained bro­ken arms and ribs, a cracked spine, punc­tured lung and in­juries to his face.

Pil­lay’s arms were bro­ken, his shoul­ders were shat­tered, his lungs punc­tured and he sus­tained se­vere head in­juries.

Cross­moor Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Sub Sec­tor Fo­rum mem­ber San­jay Ram­rat­tan said a tow truck driver had alerted au­thor­i­ties to what had hap­pened.

“Mar­lin was trans­ported to RK Khan Hospi­tal and Madaray to St Au­gus­tine’s Hospi­tal for treat­ment. Mar­lin was placed on a ven­ti­la­tor. His lungs were badly dam­aged and his brain ac­tiv­ity was low…”

Shilton said his brother had also spent two days on a ven­ti­la­tor and was only dis­charged from hospi­tal at the be­gin­ning of this month.

“He un­der­went a spine op­er­a­tion. When we broke the news of Mar­lin’s death, tears filled my brother’s eyes. Mar­lin and him were child­hood friends and they loved to fish to­gether. We can­not be­lieve he was taken away from us in such a cruel man­ner.”

Pil­lay’s un­cle, Anesh Ra­j­pal, was dev­as­tated.

“The per­pe­tra­tors took a life for their self gain. Does Mar­lin’s life amount to a cell­phone, cloth­ing, shoes and a wal­let?,” he asked.

Ram­rat­tan added that rocks and boul­ders are of­ten used to cause ac­ci­dents along that stretch of high­way.

“On Wed­nes­day, we had a man who was trav­el­ling along the same road. Rocks and boul­ders were thrown at his ve­hi­cle caus­ing him to lose con­trol of his ve­hi­cle and go down 150m down a ditch. Here again a group of men came to the car and robbed him of his valu­ables.”

Ram­rat­tan said his team had been con­duct­ing pa­trols in the area since July.

“Ev­ery night, from 9pm to 4.30am, my team of 15 pa­trollers take turns pa­trolling the area. Ev­ery Fri­day and Satur­day with SAPS and Metro Po­lice as well as CPFs in Shall­cross and Moor­ton we go out on our ‘white light’ crime aware­ness con­voy from 7pm to 9pm while our reg­u­lar pa­trols are still on.”

Ram­rat­tan said their ef­forts had helped ap­pre­hend one sus­pect, yet the prob­lem con­tin­ued.

PIC­TURE: BONGANI MBATHA

Cross­moor Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Sub Sec­tor Fo­rum mem­ber San­jay Ram­rat­tan, left, with Sham Dhan­paul and Mar­lin Pil­lay’s un­cle Anesh Ra­j­pal at the scene of the in­ci­dent. In­set: Mar­lin Pil­lay

Shane Madaray’s ve­hi­cle.

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