3 held for hijacking TV presenter's cousin

2012-03-27 10:26

Durban - The grieving family of 26-year-old Soomeshan Govender, who was killed during a hijacking in Park Rynie on Sunday morning, will say their final goodbyes to him on Tuesday as three suspects appear in court in connection with his death.

Soomeshan’s funeral will take place at his Umkomaas home where family and friends will pay their last respects.

His father, Logan Govender, said: “He was our youngest child. He was a respectful and responsible child. His sudden and tragic death has shocked us all.

"Our entire family is still trying to come to terms with what has happened. It is so difficult to understand why.”

Soomeshan was hijacked on the main road in Park Rynie just after 01:30 after socialising with friends in Scottburgh.

Scottburgh police found his body on the N2 near Park Rynie at 02:00. An inquest docket was opened.

Frantic search

Govender said: “I received a call from a policeman in Durban at around 07:00.
“He confirmed all my son’s details with me and then told me that Soomeshan’s car was hijacked and found in Isipingo but there was no sign of him.”

The family began a frantic search for Soomeshan. Messages were broadcast on social networks to alert people to his disappearance.

His cousin, Carte Blanche presenter Devi Sankaree Govender, posted an urgent alert on her Facebook page asking for information relating to his whereabouts.

“Our family started looking everywhere. My brother eventually found his body at the mortuary in Park Rynie,” his father said.

“We take some solace knowing that we found him. If they had dumped him somewhere where we could never find him then we would not get closure.”

Police are investigating whether Soomeshan tried to escape from the moving vehicle or whether he was thrown out by his hijackers. The post-mortem showed that he died as a result of multiple injuries.

A suspect from Umlazi, who was allegedly driving the hijacked car, was arrested in Isipingo by metro police on Sunday. Two more suspects were arrested in Umzinto on Monday morning.

They will appear in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on murder and hijacking charges.

"Detective Warrant Officer Yugen Moodley, Warrant Officer Cliffie Pillay and Lieutenant Nicholas Mkhize are investigating this case. The quick arrests and investigation by the detectives were excellent,” police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said.

'So happy and full of life'

Yureshin Naicker, who was with Soomeshan a short while before his death, said: “I still cannot believe this happened. He was so happy and full of life."

Naicker said they were on Marine Drive in Scottburgh where they went to have pizzas.

“At around 01:30 we decided that we are going home. I left for my house in Umzinto and he was on his way to Umkomaas.”

Later in the morning Naicker learnt that his friend was missing.

“His uncle came to check if I knew where he was because he did not return home.

“He was so humble and was considerate towards everyone. If he could be in two places at once just to help people he would do it,” Naicker said. “Everyone, especially those who know him best, will really miss Soomeshan.”

  • Marion - 2012-03-27 10:33

    I feel for this family, but I have to ask the question, if plain old Joe Bloggs cousin gets hi-jacked and dies is it any less newsworthy than this death? Is the 'news' here that the man died, or that his cousin is a Carte Blanche presenter?

      Tammy - 2012-03-27 10:47

      oh come on marion - we read about hijackings and killings everyday - this is not about the cousin of a famous person that was killed - it the about a human being who was killed and whos family is devistated - shame on you

      Tanie - 2012-03-27 10:55

      Give marion bells in this one.

      Janice - 2012-03-27 11:10

      Bloody BARS TARDS!!!!

      John - 2012-03-27 11:13

      @ marion and oom kriel, i agree with tammy, the police found the car and arrested a suspect he led them to the other simple police work and nothing to do with who he was i am glad they got them so fast i think murder charges should be brought up here these people were directly responsable for his death weather he jumped or was pushed, condolences to the family.

      Jack - 2012-03-27 11:42

      Dear Marion, why are you so dumb? The reason this tragic incident makes news is because the educated people of this country feel that they "know" in some sense the presenter, hence it has a link, unlike a unknown person. Please you’re making us look bad, and frankly an embarrassment.

      Nasiefa - 2012-03-27 12:12

      OH Marion shoooooosh man !!!!!!!!

      Shanelle - 2012-03-27 12:31

      Marion that question goes through my mind regularly. Normal SA citizens are not normaly that "lucky" or should I the police don't normaly get that "lucky break in the case" with normal citizens. Please understand that I am thrilled they have caught the perpetrators (less criminals on the street) and my deepest sympathies to the family, but the question remains. @Jack you the only one making you look bad you imbecile - "minority being wiped out" PLEASE!!

      Shanelle - 2012-03-27 12:33

      Tammy, Marion is not nullifying what happened. It is horrible for anyone or family to go through this. Her question is however valid.

      Peter - 2012-03-27 13:00

      Valid question Marion --- If only to raise awarenes for your own projects in follow-up comments as these projects are just as important as Devi.

  • Tammy - 2012-03-27 10:36

    well done to the police for making the arrests so quick

      Jayson - 2012-03-27 11:13


      Jack - 2012-03-27 11:46

      only to be release tomorrow.....if the government and the majority were serous about crime they'd bring back the death penalty...which wont happen because they're quit content watching the minority being wiped out...just like is happening to the Rhino. We are an endangered species.

  • Rob - 2012-03-27 10:40

    You know who, causing grief, pain & suffering to minorities again.

  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2012-03-27 10:44

    Deepest sympathies to the family and no sympathy to the heinous criminals for taking yet another valuable life for nothing. Yet again, the same refrain "bring back the death penalty!!!"

      Mncedisi - 2012-03-27 10:54

      I don't know where are we going to drive our cars because of these hijackers. Really it's touching. The courts must give these hijackers a very heavy sentence.

  • MichelleRamsaySA - 2012-03-27 10:50

    Very sad. Unnecessary loss of life. Statistically one in a thousand Gauteng citizens become a victim of a car highjacking per year and it's still the most feared crime -->

  • Jayb - 2012-03-27 11:02

    R.I.P but what about ordinary citizen like us not celeb or have no celeb family or relatives, is justice going to be the same

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-27 12:54

      Of course, you only hear about the celebrities..

  • watsongeorgejan - 2012-03-27 11:19

    Why is it this fools didn' take the car and leave the poor guy alone ? Unneccesary loss of life indeed. Condolences to the family, may his soul RIP...

  • E=MC2 - 2012-03-27 11:32

    yet another case in favour of the death penalty!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-27 12:55

      The punishment must fit the crime...

  • Christopher - 2012-03-27 14:35


  • Annelize - 2012-03-27 19:30

    I am so very sorry for the loss of this boy and his grieving family. As for a Scottburgh resident, something just don't add up. I would love to know where you can by a pizza in Marine Drive at that time of the morning. Please, please, please, let us have the concrete facts, where this child was hi- jacked and not go on hear say.

  • seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-04-15 04:22

    The sad thing is that the police are catching the hijackers which is godd, but in general why are these hijackings taking place? It is simply because there is a demand for the vehicles or their parts (chop-shos)! Stings should be set up to try to catch the men behind the scenes that are purchasing these vehicles and/or their parts and the chiefs that are organising these hijackings - these hijackers work for someone! Start making an effort to catch THOSE people! Hijackers themselves are dispensible, once one is caught another is simply placed in his position! So untill the mindset and tactics of the police change towards mysuggestion, these hijackings will continue and even escalate even more because they know that general public is being tought to simply not resist and hand over the keys for the sake of their own lives (which in my eyes is total bull crap), that shouldn't have to be the case if the polices' tactics change immediately! These perpetrators also have the mindset that "Oh well, your vehicle is insured for anyway so why cry about it if I steal it......" So tgey see it as easy come easy go! A total wrong perceotion is being created in this country which lends to crime, crime and more crime, placing the innicent public's lives at stake. We are living behins bars in our own country because a new approach to "crime stopping" in this country is outdated and in-efficient to say the least. The same principle shoulkd apply to cable-theft, catch the buyer/retailer

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