Murder charge dropped

2012-11-06 00:00

A RICHARDS Bay man freed of a charge of murdering his wife has lost his job after being jailed for seven days.

Brackenham resident Ravi Pillay (26) last week had a charge of murder for the death of his estranged wife, Laurette Pillay (42), withdrawn.

Laurette was found dead in her flat at Veldenvlei in July.

At the time, the couple did not live together and were getting divorced.

Laurette was found with bruises to her neck and face that indicated she had been strangled and beaten with a sharp object.

Without warning, the KwaZulu-Natal Directorate of Public Prosecutions withdrew charges against Pillay, stating there was no evidence to prosecute anyone.

Just two weeks before, the National Prosecuting Authority was considering moving the matter to the high court.

A “traumatised” Pillay has lost his job as a millwright at Mondi in Richards Bay and has been forced to move back to his parent’s home in Stanger.

“This has been a tough time for me because I was not even given time to grieve my wife’s death.

“There were lots of lies and accusations. I do not know who was trying to bring my name down.

“The last time I spoke to Laurette was two days before she was murdered.

“Being in jail was a scary experience I do not want to repeat,” said Pillay.

He said he was dismissed from work because of the murder charge, but would try to get his job back and make his home in Richards Bay again.

Admitting that his relationship with Laurette and her family was volatile, he said the newspapers “were very harsh” on him.

Pillay’s mother, Namagie, who steadfastly supported him throughout the trial, said she always told the press that her son was innocent and that she had “evidence of this”.

She produced documents purporting to be from a car tracking company showing that Pillay’s car was nowhere near the crime scene on the day of the murder.

“I would like to thank my pastors and churches for their prayers.

“This has been a very tough time for our family since my son’s name was humiliated and that left most thinking we were bad people, whereas we are strong believers in God,” said Namagie.

She said her son’s arrest a month and a half after the murder was due to the pressure from the press and public.

She hoped the real criminal would be arrested.

“The public has pointed at my son as the only suspect.

“My son did not have a single scratch that indicated he was involved in murdering Laurette. Our family’s name has been ruined,” said Namagie.

Gonna Pillay, who is Laurette’s ex-husband, said he was unhappy about the decision to withdraw the charges. But he said it did not mean the case was over.

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