Son speaks of accused murderer’s violent past

2012-08-18 00:00

MURDERER Madhan Maharaj’s son from his first marriage, Shaneel Maharaj (23), learnt from Witness article that his father had been re-arrested this week.

He escaped from Fort Napier Hospital seven years ago.

“When I didn’t know where he was, it worried me and when people asked me, I didn’t know whether to say if he was alive or dead.”

Shaneel’s mother and father divorced when he was a year old, allegedly because Maharaj was abusive.

The son said his father had been violent to his family on several occasions.

When Shaneel was 15, Maharaj started seeing him again and they would go fishing.

“He was calm and normal and I assumed that this was him because I didn’t really know him. I had heard stories about him,” Shaneel said.

He said he even visited his father’s house and met his second wife, Caroline Rajah.

“She was actually nice. She seemed quiet, maybe from the abuse. But when I was there she’d offer me food and tea. We used to sit down and talk and they seemed fine.”

In 2005, his father stopped seeing him.

“But this other time he came to visit me at home, drunk, in September. He passed out. I was in my room and suddenly I heard footsteps all over the house.

“The cops came and arrested him. Caroline’s relatives were outside and were asking me and shouting, ‘Why did you keep him? He killed her’.”

He had just killed Caroline.

Shaneel said this was the last thing he had expected. “I thought he had changed.”

Speaking to Weekend Witness against a backdrop of many school academic trophies, he said that in 2007 he quit school in matric because of the problems he had endured as a teenager.

Growing up, he said, he had anger and fear that affected his life.

He had since consulted a psychology self-help website that had helped him.

“I’m over him on my mind. I don’t need closure or anything and it clears my mind to say he’s in jail now, but I won’t be visiting him.

“One day when I get married I’ll have to tell a girl that my father is in jail.”

He said if his father lives to get out of jail, he would consider seeing him.

But for now, all his energy was focused on growing his business. He said he had taught himself website design and that and writing stories were his major focus.

He said he was eager to get to know his half-sister.

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