Cyber affair blamed for KZN murders
Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - A 20-year-old man is standing trial in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court for allegedly shooting dead three people, including his girlfriend whom he allegedly suspected of having an affair.
Erwin Ramsamuj pleaded not guilty on Monday to the murders of Kubendhran Pillay, Merle Maistry and Musawenkosi Ndlovu who were all shot in the head at 63 Larkspur Road on May 18, the day of the local government elections last year.
Defence advocate Brad Osborne said at this stage of the trial Ramsamuj elected to remain silent.
The State alleges in its indictment that Ramsamuj had been involved in an intimate relationship with Maistry for some time before the murders and that he suspected her of having an affair with a man whom he believed she’d met on the internet.
He was aware that she used to visit Pillay’s house at 63 Larkspur Road.
On the day in question he allegedly decided to go there and to confront her about the suspected affair.
The indictment alleges that he was “unsure about what would happen at Pillay’s house, but did foresee that the scene might turn violent”.
Ramsamuj allegedly armed himself with his licensed and loaded 9mm pistol before going to the house. On his arrival he allegedly found Maistry in the company of Pillay and Ndlovu.
Maistry was talking on her cellphone. It is alleged that he demanded to see the phone, but that Maistry refused to hand it over to him.
This angered him and he allegedly decided to kill her and the other occupants of the house.
He allegedly produced his pistol, cocked it, pressed it against Pillay’s head and fired.
After shooting Pillay, he allegedly shot both Maistry and Ndlovu at close range and then fled.
State advocate Roan du Preez told the court that the only witness to the arguments leading up to the shooting was an 11-year-old boy who was expected to testify in the trial.
The first State witness to give evidence, Pravin “Jock” Brijlall, said he was at the house with his grandson on the day that Ramsamuj arrived.
He said Ramsamuj saw Maistry on her cellphone and wanted the phone but she refused to give it to him.
Brijlall said that when she again refused to give him the cellphone, Ramsamuj grabbed her around her neck and took the cellphone from her. At that point he had left the house with his grandson.
The trial is proceeding.