Mother’s fight ends in success

2014-07-10 00:00

CAPE TOWN — She knew her daughter would not have killed herself, a Pietermaritzburg woman said yesterday ­after her long fight to make the killer pay ended in success.

Sara Asmall succeeded in getting her daughter Rochelle Naidoo’s former boyfriend convicted in a private prosecution for her murder in 2005.

Faizel Hendricks was convicted in the Malmesbury Regional Court yesterday.

The case against him was the first private prosecution since the so-called Trojan Horse case in Cape Town in 1985, in which several policemen were prosecuted, but acquitted, for the murder of protesters.

Asmall burst into tears during the judgment, and said afterwards: “At last, my daughter can rest in peace.

“I’m happy it’s over, it’s been nine years.”

In court, Hendricks stared straight ahead.

He and Naidoo were romantically involved from 2002 until her death on June 28, 2005.

Evidence indicated that the couple had a terrible row that evening, after which Naidoo (27) was shot in the mouth and died.

She and Hendricks were the only people in her flat.

Hendricks was arrested and charged with Naidoo’s murder. He pleaded not guilty and the case was later withdrawn by the director of public prosecutions.

A judicial inquest followed, but the result was inconclusive.

It was after this that Asmall and her husband, Yunus, took the unusual decision to launch a private prosecution, firmly believing that Naidoo would not have taken her own life.

Yesterday, Asmall said Hendricks never came to the funeral and never called to apologise and that angered her.

Her father-in-law, Yusuf Asmall, persuaded them to carry on after the inquest.

The Asmalls have been commuting to Cape Town and Malmesbury with their advocate Gideon Scheltema and their attorney, A.K. Ayoob, for the case.

Yunus has however recently been unwell and was not in court for yesterday’s verdict. “My husband has been my pillar of strength,” Sara said yesterday.

The couple have another daughter, Meshka Asmall (18), who is studying medicine in Mauritius. “She often tells me she lost out on a sister,” said Sara.

She said she would advise other parents who suspect their children are being abused in their relationship to stand by them.

Regional magistrate Michelle Adams said the aim of the prosecution was to determine whether Naidoo died as the result of a crime or whether she took her own life.

Although Hendricks testified at the inquest, he opted to remain silent during the trial.

Adams said although that was his right, it left many unanswered questions about what happened that night.

“The only conclusion that can be reached is that the accused assaulted the deceased ... and that he pulled the trigger. He is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Hendricks must be back in court on September 30 for sentence to be delivered. He is free on a warning until then.

What is a private prosecution?

Several legal experts told sister paper Die Burger that private prosecutions are extremely rare.

“It is highly unusual,” more than one said.

The Criminal Procedure Act lays down that in order to launch a private prosecution, a person must have an exceptional interest in the outcome of the case.

The invidual also has to put up security to cover the costs, which would normally be borne by the state.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.