Family of road rage victim deny accused’s hijack

2016-11-18 10:48
Road rage murder accused Thobelani Khuzwayo (right with glasses) on a previous occasion at the magistrate’s court.

Road rage murder accused Thobelani Khuzwayo (right with glasses) on a previous occasion at the magistrate’s court. (Ingrid Oellermann)

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Former policeman Thobelani Khuzwayo says he shot Kavlin Naidoo (27) on November 2, 2014, in the belief that Naidoo and his companions were intending to hijack him.

Khuzwayo pleaded not guilty before regional magistrate M. Khumalo yesterday to Kavlin Naidoo’s murder and to a second charge of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly opening a “false case of robbery” arising from the incident the day after the shooting.

It was an emotional day for the late Kavlin Naidoo’s fiancée, Sandhani Padayachee, and his brother, Davelin, who both described the shooting in court on Thursday.

Padayachee’s evidence was interrupted to give her time to compose herself when the memory of her ordeal reduced her to tears.

Davelin Naidoo gave his evidence stoically but stopped at times to draw deep breaths as he told the court how, after seeing Khuzwayo produce a gun from his vehicle and “hold it against his chest”, he heard a shot go off.

He saw his brother take a “few steps back”, sink down on his knees and fall to the floor on his back.

“I could see he was having difficulty breathing and I picked up his T-shirt. I saw a small wound on his stomach … I could hear a whole lot of screaming and I turned to look at Mr Khuzwayo … He was already back in his car,” he said.

Davelin Naidoo said he saw a woman in the back of Khuzwayo’s vehicle open the passenger door and try to get out, apparently wanting to help his brother.

She was “shouting” at Khuzwayo, he said.

Naidoo said Khuzwayo just drove off and crossed over the Loop/Retief street intersection. Khuzwayo thereafter stopped and “pulled” the woman back into the car and closed the door.

It was while he was stopped that he managed to note the registration number of Khuzwayo’s car, Naidoo said.

Davelin Naidoo said he had been driving Kavlin’s fiancée back home after a family braai when the incident happened soon after 10 pm.

He said the couple were seated in the back and he was driving “slowly”.

He said he had to pass a rubbish truck stopped on the left side of the road, indicated and overtook on the right. He then moved left again.

As he was approaching the traffic lights a vehicle behind him “flashed” its lights and went past him. “I had stopped at the robot … the motor vehicle came past at high speed and cut in front of us and skidded, jamming me,” he said.

He said Khuzwayo, who was the driver, jumped out. Kavlin also got out and he asked the driver “what was wrong”.

They spoke for a “few seconds”.

“Everything was calm … It didn’t look like anything violent was happening,” he said.

Davelin Naidoo said Padayachee asked him to go and see what was happening and he also got out. As he approached his brother and Khuzwayo he saw the policeman “bend” into his vehicle and take out a firearm.

“I asked what are you going to do with the gun? He never responded … I heard a gunshot go off,” he said.

Padayachee testified that she did not see Kavlin being shot because it happened as she was getting out of the car to go to him.

Moments before she had seen Khuzwayo go to his car and emerge with a gun.

After the shooting she started screaming for help and remembers a woman trying to calm her down.

Padayachee said when paramedics arrived they cut Kavlin’s shirt open and took off his jacket revealing a “hole” in his stomach. There was a pool of blood next to him.

Kavlin was admitted to Grey’s Hospital where he died after three weeks.

Padayachee denied under cross examination by Khuzwayo’s advocate, Brad Osborne, that Kavlin got out of the car to “fight” with Khuzwayo.

She also said she was not aware that their vehicle “almost smashed into” another car.

IN a statement detailing his defence, Khuzwayo said he was driving along Loop Street that night when Kavlin Naidoo’s vehicle “cut him off”.

He said Kavlin got out and “moved his right hand towards his right hip as if he were either drawing a firearm or ensuring that his firearm was on his hip”.

“The deceased [Kavlin] and two others advanced on my car in a threatening manner which I perceived as being an intention to hijack my vehicle or commit some other harm to me. When one of these people attempted to open the driver’s door of my vehicle I picked up my firearm and discharged one shot in the direction of the man I believed was armed with a firearm,” he said.

He said he was in a “state of panic and shock” and drove home.

The court was told that Khuzwayo alleges he was alone at the time.

He disputes the evidence of Padayachee and Naidoo that there were women in the car with him. Padayachee said she believed there were four women in the vehicle.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  road rage

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