A heart-wrenching farewell

2014-01-04 00:00

MOURNERS were comforting one another and tears flowed freely as a community gathered yesterday for the cremation service of a mother and her two teenage children yesterday.

Barely three kilometres away, earlier in the morning, Versha Sathie Kandasamy’s husband Rajen stood in court accused of murdering her and their two teenage children, Melarisa (18) and Megandran (17), in a gruesome way on Sunday.

Melarisa was one of many matric pupils anxiously awaiting results next week.

In contrast to the support at the victims’ funeral, the only crowds outside court were angry people calling for bail to be denied to Rajen.

According to Chatsworth Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Logan Chetty, the victims’ injuries were so severe that their relativies could not recognise them. All had multiple injuries.

Police discovered the three bloodied bodies in a bedroom on Monday, after police had to break down the door to gain entry into the house.

They were responding to concerned family members who had tried unsuccessfully to contact the family earlier.

Rajen, who works as a packer at Checkers, handed himself over to the police on Tuesday.

“There were lots of opened and unopened bottles of alcohol in the kitchen. There was a bottle of whisky on the table and more bottles of alcohol on the cupboard,” Chetty described the scene they found in the kitchen.

“Whatever the case may be, there’s no justification for innocent people to die like this.”

Early in the week, The Witness reported that a “Hanuman stick” (similar to a club) was found at the crime scene and was seized by police.

Kandasamy, whose parents died some time ago, had been married to Rajen for 19 years, according to family spokesperson, her uncle Ronnie Kallan. She worked for an engineering firm in Pinetown and is survived by a sister.

Kallan described his niece as a quiet and loving person who got along with all in the family. He said the last time the family saw the three alive was on Saturday, before their deaths.

“She, her husband and children visited us. They were the normal family we knew. We are shocked. We want to know what happened. What led to this? All we need is closure,” said Kallan.

The funeral service of the three was held at the Crossmoor Secondary School in Chatsworth, where the two teenagers attended school. Hundreds of mourners, including Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni and school principal Vinay Motheeram, attended.

Motheeram described the two teenagers as dedicated and achievers. “It’s sad to lose such talent. The girl was waiting for her final results and the boy was going into Grade 12 this year. This is a sad story not only for the school, but for the entire community,” he said.

Earlier yesterday morning, as Rajen made an appearance in court, a group of people protested outside. Rajen asked for a legal aid lawyer, and magistrate Leon Nielsen postponed the case to January 10, when a formal bail application is expected to be made. Prosecutor Owen Subben said the state would oppose bail.

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