STINK IN THE CLINK
Flashy heir ‘shuns baths, feigns illness to do a Schabir Shaik’
Why killer is deliberately rotting in jail
Rajiv Narandas was the ultimate spoilt rich kid.
The Durban heir to an empire of jewellery and clothing stores had a penchant for flashy cars — his collection included an Audi R8 “wrapped” to make it look golden, and a matt-black Mercedes — tailored silk shirts to show off his biceps and designer perfume.
But today, in his orange prison overalls, Narandas, 31 — who is just over a year into a 15-year sentence for the 2008 murder of Veenand Singh, 32 — is literally rotting in jail, angering inmates and prison warders because he refuses to bathe or brush his teeth.
He has already come to blows with a fellow prisoner over his malodour.
But that hasn’t stopped Narandas, who, after a six-year trial and a failed bid in the Constitutional Court to overturn his conviction, is said to be trying every trick in the book to get out of Westville Prison’s Medium B Section.
Narandas stabbed Singh to death in a parking lot after an argument inside the Shoukara nightclub in Sandton.
Narandas’s neglect of hygiene, according to four independent sources in the prison, is part of a plot to stay in the prison hospital until he can be released on medical parole.
“There is only one bathroom here and we’ve never seen him go in the bath for the last three months,” a prisoner told the Sunday Times.
“The members complained about his room smelling. When he goes out of his room he sprays perfume.
“There is nothing wrong with him but he makes himself sick . . . Rajiv is planning to go on medical parole,” the prisoner said.
The Narandas family wealth is said to be funding constant medical care, including visits by a private doctor every week.
“As for brushing his teeth, he never brushes for almost a year,” said the prisoner. “He read somewhere that if you don’t brush it can affect your heart.”
After losing his Constitutional Court bid last year, Narandas disappeared for nearly a week instead of handing himself over to prison authorities. He resurfaced in a Durban hospital after allegedly falling ill.
A Westville Prison correctional officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Narandas had it easy behind bars, spending his days in the prison’s medical wing.
He had come to blows with a cellmate over his body odour. “He was assaulted by another inmate but he wasn’t badly hurt and is fit enough to come [back] to prison.
“He is getting special treatment in the hospital section, where life is easy. Narandas is not really sick. It is easy in the hospital. There are single cells and one is out of the way of the general population. The communal cells of Medium B are not for the fainthearted,” said the warder.
The former social butterfly had meals delivered to the jail, he said. “He hardly eats the prison food . . . only those that warders bring him and they are taking care of him nicely.”
His actions were laying the foundations, the warder said, for Narandas to apply for medical parole. “He is trying to pull the same trick as Schabir Shaik.”
However, correctional services spokesman Thulani Mdluli denied Narandas was getting special treatment, and said the fight with another inmate was being investigated.
Last month Narandas filed an urgent application in the High Court in Durban to gain access to an antibiotic and throat lozenges. His advocate, Lee Reddy, said her client was unwell and was being treated in the hospital wing. His sore throat was compounded by other ailments and a medical report on his condition was still outstanding.
The application was set aside after lawyers for correctional services said it was not a “life or death” situation.
Repeated attempts to contact Rajiv’s mother, Rosanne, were unsuccessful.
Rajiv Narandas and his blinged-up ‘wrapped’ Audi R8.