Family anxious for closure after wait for justice
THE family of murdered Malvern mother Nalin Naidu say their four-year wait for justice has taken a toll on them.
Naidu’s brother, Raj Krishnapal, said he lost his engineering job in 2016 as a result of focusing all his time and energy on the case; while Naidu’s mother, Shanti Bassoon, said she had previously collapsed in court due to the emotional trauma of listening to the proceedings.
Desperate for closure, the family arrived in their numbers for the judgment in the Durban High Court on Friday on former policeman turned businessman Sifiso Nkosi and his common law wife, Phumla Ethel Matseke, who allegedly murdered Naidu in 2014.
But Acting Judge Joe Nxusani was unable to get through his lengthy summary of the trial and the case was adjourned.
Judge Nxusani referred to the cellphone records, the post-mortem report, photographic exhibits and the evidence of Kholekile Maria Sithole, who was among the six people arrested for the murder. Sithole entered into a plea agreement and turned State witness. She was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ wholly suspended.
The court heard that Sithole felt “obligated” to Matseke, who was referred to as her “tjommie” (friend).
Sithole testified that Matseke was good to her and had often helped her with her rent and groceries. She went out of her way to assist Matseke.
Judge Nxusani went through Sithole’s evidence in detail and said he found it to be “disquieting”. “Some of her evidence was contradictory. Her statements did not describe the incident in detail. “One must approach her evidence with the necessary caution,” the judge said.
The court also heard that a sum of between R50 000 and R60 000 was paid by Naidu’s husband, Seelan – also a former policeman – to have the deceased killed.
Naidu went missing from Malvern Mall. Her body was found in a bush in Shongweni on October 29, 2014. Her throat was slit and she had facial injuries.
Seelan, 48, the suspected mastermind, died in Westville Prison, while awaiting trial in 2016. Self-confessed hitmen, Zwelakhe Maphumulo and Gcina Magwaza, pleaded guilty. Maphumulo was given 30 years and Magwaza 22 years. Both had implicated Naidu.
The Naidus owned a string of pharmacies.