So­cialite lived in fear

Was her killer known to North­dale busi­ness­woman Kavitha Ner­puth?

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - NIYANTA SINGH

DAYS­ be­fore­ Pi­eter­mar­itzburg­ busi­ness­wom­anKavitha­ Ner­puth­ was­ found­ stran­gled­ to­ death ,­ locked­ in­ her­ lux­ury­ SUV­ at­ a­ se­cluded­ spot­ in­ Alexan­dra­Park­ on­ Mon­day­ night ,­ she­ feared­ for­ her­ life­ and­ that­ of­ her­ fam­ily.

Ner­puth,­ from­ Stella­ Road ,­ New holmes ,North­dale,­ who­ ran­ a­ herbal­weight- loss­tea­ busi­ness­ at­ Camps­ Drift­ busi­ness­ park ,­ and­ who­ had­ been­ em­broiled­ in­ sev­eral­ha­rass­ment­ and­ pro­tec­tion­ or­ders ,­ had­ ex­pressed­ her­ con­cerns­ about­ their­ safety­ over­ the­ week­end­ to­ her­ young­ adult­ chil­dren ,­ A ryan a ­ (19)­ and­ Ju­nior ­(22)­—­ both­ law­ stu­dents .­ “She­ was­ ab­so­lutely­scared­ on­ Sun­day­and­ very­ emo­tional .­ She­ had­ gone­ to­ the­ po­lice­ on­ sev­eral­oc­ca­sions­ beg­ging­ for­ more­ se­cu­rity­ and­ for­ them­ to­ take­ ac­tion­ on­ the­ pro­tec­tion­ or­der­s he­ had­ ob­tained ,­ but­ was­ ig­nored .­“She­ just­ felt­ that­ we­ were­ not­ safe ,­ that­ we­ were­ be­ing­s talked­ and­ that­ some­thing­ was­ go­ing­ to­ hap­pen .­“All­s he­ wanted­ was­ ex­tra­ pro­tec­tion­ and­ she­ was­ never­ given­ that,”­s aid­an­ emo­tional­ Ju­nior .­ An­ an­gry­ A ryan a­ who ,­ to­gether­ with­ Ju­nior ,­ was­ called­ to­ the­ scene­ to­ iden­tify­ their­ mother’ s­ body­ on­ Mon­day­ night ,­ said­ she­ was­ dev­as­tated­ over­ her­ mother’ s­ death.

“All­I­want­to­say­is­that­some­one­has­robbed­us­of­our­mother.­That’s­allthere­is­to­it­at­the­end­of­the­day­—we­don’t­have­our­mother­any­longer.She’s­been­taken­away­from­us.­There’snoth­ing­more­to­say­—­just­the­his­to­ryof­ev­ery­thing­to­look­at,”­said­Aryana.

De­scrib­ing­her­self­as­be­ing­“un­easy”for­most­of­Mon­day,­Aryana­said­be­cause­of­her­mother’s­anx­i­ety­over­her­safety,­she­was­con­cerned­about­her­and­had­called­her­sev­eral­times­in­the­day.

“I­was­just­un­easy­and­wanted­my­mum.­I­felt­this­ur­gent­need­to­be­withmy­mum­for­the­en­tire­day.

“We­spoke­to­each­other­many­timesin­the­day,­but­when­she­didn’t­call­at5­pm­—­as­she­nor­mally­does­to­checkif­we­needed­any­thing­from­the­shops­be­fore­she­re­turned­home­—­we­be­camea­bit­con­cerned.

“We­gave­her­a­few­min­utes­and­then­called­ her­ but­ her­ cell­phones­ wereswitch­ed­ off.­ We­ checked­ her­ Whats-App­pro­file­and­saw­that­she­was­las­ton­line­at­4.17­pm­and­at­11.20­am.­Wes­tarted­re­ally­pan­ick­ing.”

They­called­her­con­tin­u­ously,­calle­dother­peo­ple,­and­drove­around­in­thearea­ be­fore­ driv­ing­ to­ the­ busi­nesspremis­es.

“Ju­nior­ and­ I­ jumped­ into­ the­ car­ and­made­ our­ way­ to­ the­ busi­ness­premis­esat­ Camps­ Drift .­ On­ our­ way­ there ,­ wego t­a­c all­ to­ say­ that­ she­ had­ been­ foun­dand­ we­ were­ needed­ at­ the­ scene­ toiden­tify­ her .­ She­ was­ all­ we­ had­ and­ now­she­ is­ no­ more ,”­ said­ Aryana.

A­ fam­ily­ spokesper­son ,­ who­ did­ not­want­ to­ be­ named ,­ said­ the­ fam­ily­ had­been­ torn­ apart­ with­ the­ ha­rass­ment­court­ mat­ters .

“It’ s­ been­ ex­tremely­ str es sful.­Kav it ha­ and­ her­ fam­ily­ have­ been­ throughso­ much .­ They­ have­ been­ on­ ten­ter­hooks­as­ they­ know­ and­ have­ ex­pe­ri­enced­ that­ they­ were­ be­ing­s talked .­“It’ s­ heart-break­ing­ to­ think­ that­ she­ was­ killed­ in­ such­ a­ sense less­ man­ner ,”­ said­ the­ spokesper­son .­ N er puth’ s­ el­derly­par­ents­ said­ they­ were­ dis­traught­ over­ her­ cal­lous­ death ,­ de­scrib­ing­ her­ as­ their ­“ev­ery­thing ”.­“She­ was­ a­ lov­ing­per­son­ who­ gave­ her­ all­ to­ those­ around­ her .­ She­ was­ our­ ev­ery­thing .­“Our­ world s­r evolved­around­ each­ other .­ We­ lived­ for­ he r­and­s he­ lived­ for­ us­ and­ her­ chil­dren ,”­ said­ her­m other ,­ Mrs­ Mac ­( who­ didn’ t­ want­ to­ re­veal­ her­ first­ name ).­ Not­ want­ing­ to­ spec­u­late­ on­ cir­cum­stances­around­ her­ death ,­ her­ mother­ said­ Ner­puth­ had­ not­ in­volved­ them­ with­ the­ de­tails­ of­ all­ the­ court­ cases.

“While­ we­ are ­aware­ of­ what­­ba­si­cally­hap­pen­ing,­ we ­didn’t­ know­ the finer ­de­tails.­ Kavitha, ­as­ al­ways,­ didn’twant­ any­thing ­to­trou­ble­us.

“She­ told­ us­ what­ shethought­we­needed­to­know­sothat­we­wouldn’t­be­too­con­cerned­about­ things.­ She­con­fided­in­her­two­el­der­chil­dren,”­said­the­mother.

She­ said,­ how­ever,that­while­she­did­not­wantto­ blame­ any­one,­ they­ hadtheir­sus­pi­cions.

“I­ don’t­ want­ to­ men­tion­names,­but­who­ever­was­hell­ben­ton­ de­stroy­ing­ her­ and­mak­ing­her­life­a­mis­ery,­ul­ti­mately­got­what­they­wanted.And­their­jus­tice­will­be­servedby­God.­We­leave­it­in­His­hands,”said­the­mother.

KZN­ po­lice­ spokesper­son­ ColonelThe­m­beka­ Mbele­ said­ the­ Alexan­draRoad­po­lice­were­in­ves­ti­gat­ing­a­caseof­murder.­“It­is­sus­pected­that­the­41year-old­woman­was­stran­gled­as­she­was­found­in­side­the­ve­hi­cle­where­all­doors­were­locked.­The­po­lice­broke­the­back­win­dow­of­the­ve­hi­cle­to­re­movethe­body,”­said­Mbele.

Mem­bers­of­the­SAPS­dog­unit­werepa­trolling­the­area­on­the­look-out­fora­n­other­ve­hi­cle­when­they­came­acrossNer­puth’s­ life­less­ body­ in­ her­ locked­car.­ It­ is­ be­lieved­ Ner­puth­ was­ with­some­one­known­to­her­as­noth­ing­be­sides­her­cell­phones­and­car­keys­were­taken.­A­source­said­that­who­ever­hadleft­her­in­the­car­on­Mon­day­night,­had­locked­the­car­in­a­way­that­meant­the­do­ors­could­not­be­opened­at­all.

It­is­be­lieved­po­lice­came­across­her­car­at­around­7­pm­and­man­aged­to­gether­out­about­15­min­utes­later.­She­was­de­clared­dead­shortly­af­ter­wards.

She just felt that we were not safe, that we were be­ing stalked and that some­thing was go­ing to hap­pen. All she wanted was ex­tra pro­tec­tion and she was never given that.

THE news of Kavitha Ner­puth’s (pic­tured) tragic death sent shock­waves through the com­mu­nity of Pi­eter­mar­itzburg as The Wit­ness broke the story on our Face­book page.

Many ex­pressed their shock and sent con­do­lences to her fam­ily and friends.

Rani Dukhanti said: “I’m to­tally shat­tered by this news! Dear­est Kavitha, al­ways so pos­i­tive and up­beat, de­spite ev­ery­thing. How could such a heinous thing be done to you. You were so filled with won­der­ful dreams for your fu­ture! RIP sweet­heart. A won­der­ful soul, gone too soon.”

Said Seetha Gopal: “Such dev­as­tat­ing shocking news. A beau­ti­ful soul and a model mum, my heart breaks for her par­ents and kids. What a heinous crime, hope our be­low-av­er­age SAPS don’t fluff this one up too.”

Kwanele Mkhize said: “The sad­dest thing is that SAPS will keep on in­ves­ti­gat­ing un­til peo­ple for­get about the in­ci­dent. This has to stop! Our gov­ern­ment need to do some­thing. The rate of women be­ing mur­dered is dras­ti­cally in­creas­ing and all we get from the gov­ern­ment are just silly cam­paigns of vi­o­lence against women ...” Donna-Leigh Roux said: “Such ter­ri­ble news … May this case not go un­solved and may her killers be brought to jus­tice!!!”

“Alexan­dra Park is no more a beau­ti­ful re­lax­ing place to visit. We used to go to the out­door gym af­ter my hus­band had his stroke, but not any­more. It is an un­safe place for any­one. I won’t even take a short­cut drive through there,” said Co­lette van Log­geren­berg.

Sharda Pil­lay said: “RIP dear friend. I will al­ways re­mem­ber the sweet, kind, gen­tle and com­pas­sion­ate woman l knew. Gone in such a cruel man­ner. God be with your chil­dren.”

Rhoda Rugh­beer said: “Con­do­lences to Her fam­ily. Ju­nior, Ariyana, Zia, Nani and Un­cle, my heart bleeds for you. May God be your strength dur­ing this heart-break­ing time.”

Said Coet­zee Pather: “Wow. Shocking to what ex­tent peo­ple will go to. But tech­nol­ogy will catch the cul­prit. Cell phone video footages will as­sist the po­lice in track­ing that cul­prit. Con­do­lences to the fam­ily.”

Le­an­dra Naidoo said: “Once again chil­dren lose a mother. This sick world is cre­at­ing a gen­er­a­tion of mother­less chil­dren. Noth­ing can re­place a mother’s love and pro­tec­tion.”

“Dev­as­tat­ing news, all be­cause a lady is suc­cess­ful and the light in our fam­ily. Vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren must end now. Pray­ing for Jus­tice to pre­vail,” Shir­lene Neer­puth said.

Chan­tal Mag­da­lene Mood­ley said: “Woke up to dev­as­tat­ing news. The pain and anger I feel right now is in­de­scrib­able. A won­der­ful mother and daugh­ter and friend gone to soon.”

And Ku­ven­dran Cun­nan said: “Aunty Kavitha al­ways helped me bet­ter my­self in so many ways, she was rare and a real gem. She will al­ways live on in my heart.”

PHOTO: IAN CAR­BUTT (FILE)

Pi­eter­mar­itzburg busi­ness­woman Kavitha Ner­puth was found stran­gled to death, locked in her lux­ury SUV at a se­cluded spot in Alexan­dra Park on Mon­day night.

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