End in sight for Phoenix triple murder case

The Durban High Court is set to hand down judgment in the infamous Phoenix triple murder case on Wednesday. (iStock)
The Durban High Court is set to hand down judgment in the infamous Phoenix triple murder case on Wednesday. (iStock)

The end is in sight for the infamous Phoenix triple murder case in the Durban High Court, where the sole accused, 47-year-old Colin Pillay, has stood trial for the better part of 2019.

Closing arguments in the case were heard on Monday when senior prosecutor Cheryl Naidu and legal aid attorney Amanda Hulley addressed the court for the last time before Judge Phillip Nkosi hands down his decision on Wednesday.

Naidu was scathing of Pillay while addressing the court.

A mountain of evidence, from DNA to CCTV footage and eyewitness statements, had been stacked up against Pillay who also failed to answer basic questions during cross-examination in court.

Pillay is accused of killing mother Jane Govindsamy and her two daughters, Denisha and Rackelle, on September 20, 2018, in their home at Thasvir Mansions in Phoenix.

Naidu launched into her final argument just after midday, saying Pillay had failed to give the court explanations for DNA evidence found on him.

"He was at a complete loss to explain how Rackelle's blood got on him."

Naidu said all three females showed evidence of defensive wounds, while Pillay himself sustained injuries consistent with the same.

"The accused had scratches consistent with someone having long nails. All victims sustained defence wounds."

She said Pillay's knowledge that Jane was on her period just before her murder was telling.

"He was not in any communication with her, but he told the court she was on her period. The only way he could have known that is if he was in the house on the day in question."

Naidu said Jane's assailant undid her pants but stopped after unzipping her.

"He wanted intercourse but could not do so because he felt her sanitary pad."

She said CCTV footage showing Pillay wiping and throwing away a knife was incriminating.

"His explanation that it was a bait knife he had found on the floor is even more perplexing. Why would someone pick up a rusty old knife smelling like fish and then wipe and throw it away?"

Naidu added: "The version of the accused was not plausible to start off with, but it unraveled marvelously in cross-examination."

She said Pillay's DNA found on a television at the victims' home pointed to guilt.

"He had not been in the home for a very long time, but his DNA was on the television. He tried to make it look like a robbery."

She added that his reaction after discovering Jane was dead was odd.

"His attitude when he went to the crime scene, was of someone who knew Jane was deceased."

Hulley's response was that the accused's demeanor was a subjective argument.  

"His reaction to the deceased's body could have just been a personal thing."

Judgment will be delivered on Wednesday.

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