Woman lured sex pest to death

2010-02-16 00:00

SLIGHTLY built, attractive Michelle Nadasen (22) of Brackenham, Richards Bay, described in a statement to the high court yesterday how her 17-year-old boyfriend dug a grave and persuaded her to take part in the murder of a man who had “pestered” her continually for sexual favours.

She said the victim, Gansen Thanji Gounden (37), “fondled her” on the day in question, January 3, even though she spurned his advances.

Nadasen, the mother of a two-year-old son from her estranged husband, will be sentenced by Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo today for Gounden’s murder.

The court heard that Nadasen’s young lover, who cannot be named because he is a minor, dug a grave under a mango tree in Nadasen’s family’s back yard, and explained that he could not “hit” Gounden because he would charge him for assault.

“I told [the boyfriend] not to kill the deceased, but he insisted that killing the deceased was the only way to solve the problem, because it was not the first time the deceased had fondled me,” she said.

Nadasen said that after he dug the grave, her lover told her to call Gounden on his cellphone and pretend she wanted to see him. She did so and Gounden agreed to meet her in her back yard.

Her boyfriend took the spade he used to dig the grave and hid behind the mango tree, while she stood outside the kitchen door waiting for Gounden to arrive.

Her sister was out and her father and other family members were asleep.

Nadasen said that when Gounden arrived and jumped the fence, her boyfriend approached him from behind and struck him several times with the spade on his forehead until he fell. She “got scared” and went into the house.

Nadasen said that when she came back out she saw her boyfriend “jumping on the deceased’s chest while pressing a tree stump against his neck”.

He told her to get a plastic bag to tie Gounden’s hands because he was not yet dead. She gave him a plastic bag and went back to the house. Fifteen minutes later she came out and saw her lover covering the grave with leaves from the mango tree and realised he had already buried Gounden. He was bloodstained and went home to have a bath.

On his return later, she told him she was afraid, but he told her to “behave normally”.

Nadasen said that on January 7 police came to her home looking for her cellphone, because they had ascertained that she had called Gounden before he went missing. On her boyfriend’s instructions she gave them another cellphone.

That same night he exhumed the body from the grave and loaded it into a refuse bin.

While he was loading the bin into a bakkie, her father and sister came out of the house because of the noise he made.

Her sister was “suspicious” and threatened to call the police.

Nadasen said she accompanied her boyfriend in the bakkie.

They drove to a bridge over the Ntseleni River and her lover threw the body into the river. They were both arrested that night.

Giving evidence in mitigation of sentence, Nadasen said she is “extremely sorry”.

“I know I can’t bring him back, but I am willing to help the police and testify against [the boyfriend],” she said.

Her legal aid attorney, Ishi Khan, urged the court to impose a sentence of between 15 and 20 years on Nadasen.

State advocate Mbongeni Mthembu suggested that a suitable term would be between 18 and 25 years.

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