Man ‘pointed to body’

2016-06-08 13:07

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Pietermaritzburg - Pietermaritzburg man Christopher Sabbadu (24) on Tuesday denied his involvement in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Letisha Naidoo (20), whose body was recovered from a sewer canal in Northdale.

Sabbadu’s legal aid representative Lauren Marais told Acting Judge Christo van Schalkwyk that Sabbadu says the last time he saw Naidoo, who he was having a relationship with, was three days before she was murdered on November 20, 2014.

“He last saw her on November 17, 2014 during the day in the Raisethorpe area,” said Marais.

Sabbadu pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one of murder.

State advocate Frank van Heerden read a section of the state’s indictment to him, which alleges that he is also guilty of rape if he was present during a rape, kept watch while a co-perpetrator raped the victim, remained in the vicinity where another assailant was raping the victim and if he prevented the victim from escaping her rapist.

According to the charge sheet, the prosecution alleges that Sabbadu and Naidoo had a “tumultuous” relationship.

It is alleged that he decided to rape and kill her and before the murder had asked for help from four friends, who knew Naidoo. The group allegedly lured Naidoo to a secluded area near Mysore Road, armed with knives and plastic bags. There they assaulted her, grabbed her and forced her to the ground. Whilst she was held down on the ground, two of the attackers allegedly took turns to rape her.

She was also repeatedly assaulted and stabbed and was throttled.

Afterwards she was wrapped in plastic bags and dumped in the adjacent sewer canal.

A police officer who was involved in Sabbadu’s arrest, Warrant Officer Sherwin Pillay of the SAPS tracing unit, said he got involved in the case after he received information that led him to Sabbadu.

However, he said he did not at first suspect Sabbadu had anything to do with the murder.

He said Sabbadu had taken police to a spot near a “short cut” between Debi Place and Mysore Road where police recovered items of Naidoo’s clothing.

Whilst at the scene he had also pointed to some blood along the river leading to the sewer canal. “Whilst I was looking at the blood he [Sabbadu] turned and started to walk away. I told him to stop and he started running. I gave chase and caught him. I took him back to the scene and he then said he wants to come clean and tell me what happened to his girlfriend,” he said.

Shortly thereafter police discovered Naidoo’s body in the sewer.

Marais told the court that the defence is disputing the admissibility of the alleged pointing out of the crime scene by Sabbadu.

The case is proceeding.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  rape  |  court

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