Further investigation into deaths of couple found in bathtub at Berg lodge

2010-08-06 00:00

A THOROUGH inspection was to be conducted yesterday by police and a private forensic pathologist at a Drakensberg lodge where an engaged Johannesburg couple, Dhiren Singh and Cheryl Chetty, were found dead in mysterious circumstances a week ago.

Singh and Chetty were found dead on Friday, July 30, in the bathtub of their rondavel at White Mountain Lodge — a country getaway at Ntabamhlophe in the foothills of the Drakensberg.

According to media reports — which were confirmed by police sources — the deaths were initially put down to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a possible gas leak in the heating system or the geyser.

Local police reported that there were no signs of forced entry into the rondavel and said that the couple’s pro­perty had not been tampered with.

A cleaner found the naked bodies of the newly engaged couple in the bathtub on Friday morning.

The cold water tap from the shower was still running.

Although the first postmortem conducted by a state pathologist confirmed the cause of death to be gas inhalation, relatives of the couple were not satisfied and appointed private forensic pathologist Dr Reggie Perumal to carry out a second postmortem on the bodies.

They alleged that the bodies had sustained injuries consistent with a battering.

A source told The Witness that Singh’s body did have visible “marks” sufficient to raise a question mark over the manner in which he died.

However, there were allegedly no visible injuries to Chetty.

Further investigations were to be carried out at the scene to determine if it was possible the injuries could have been caused by a fall or by foul play, or whether the initial findings were correct.

Adding to the puzzle is the fact that another person died in the very same rondavel at the lodge almost a year ago.

A media report identified the earlier victim as Resevoir Hills insurance broker Jayraj Deonarain (63).

Deonarian’s wife, Malthee, was subsequently charged with his murder.

She is currently still awaiting trial.

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