Maharaj left wife ‘bleeding, crying'

2012-08-16 00:00

CAROLINE Rajah (32) “often had blue eyes” as a result of being beaten by her husband, Madhan Maharaj, who admitted this week that he had bludgeoned her to death with a metal handle on September 3, 2005.

Rajah’s sister, Roslyn Rajah, gave evidence yesterday in aggravation of sentence against Maharaj.

Roslyn Rajah described her late sister as a “homely” person, and said there were domestic problems and a “cycle of fights” throughout her 10-year relationship with Maharaj.

Replying to questions from prosecutor Pranisha Kasool, she told regional court magistrate Riaan de Wet that Maharaj would accuse her sister of having affairs, but that these were a figment of his imagination.

“My sister was not involved in another relationship. She was not that kind of person,” she said, adding that even if Caroline had wanted to have an affair, she was too afraid of Maharaj, who was “ a very possessive man”.

Rajah left him on many occasions, but went back to him after he promised to change. She left Maharaj three months before her death, and returned to him again a week before she was killed.

Roslyn said Maharaj often assaulted his wife and once “chopped her on her head”. He once sjambokked her and she had seen marks on her sister’s back.

Caroline also “often had blue eyes” as a result of being assaulted by Maharaj, she testified.

Roslyn said that while the couple were living in an outbuilding on her property, she would hear Caroline screaming and objects “flying” and would have to intervene.

Though she never saw Maharaj physically assault her sister, it was evident from the fact that they would find her “bleeding and crying”.

Maharaj was arrested this week after escaping from Fort Napier hospital seven years ago while undergoing mental observation.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to murdering Caroline.

His legal aid attorney, Jameel Vorajee, told the court yesterday that Maharaj had dearly loved his wife, but suspected her of having affairs.

According to his plea, he had seen her holding hands with a man and boarding a taxi, leading to a fight that triggered her murder.

Vorajee said Maharaj had known that police were coming for him before he was arrested. This was because he had made a statement to police about a break-in at the school where he was working as caretaker, and was told his name had been logged into a database of witnesses.

“So he was aware that the police knew where he was,” he said.

The case was postponed to Tuesday for further evidence.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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