'He didn't deserve it'- widow recalls how husband was shot dead

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Maxine Pillay and her two sons, Torrez Naidoo (10, left) and Dimitri Pillay (5).
Maxine Pillay and her two sons, Torrez Naidoo (10, left) and Dimitri Pillay (5).
Moeketsi Mamane

“I want justice for my husband. He did not deserve to die like that. He died because he went to fetch me.”

A Pietermaritzburg woman whose husband was shot dead at Manor Flats on Saturday morning says she will never find peace until justice is served.

She further disputed the police version that her husband had stabbed the gunman — allegedly an off-duty policeman. She told The Witness that after the shooting the alleged killer was “walking up and down and he was not showing any sign that he was bleeding”.

Yoland Pillay (30) was shot seven times after arriving to fetch his wife, who was visiting a friend in the flats.

His widow, Maxine Pillay, told The Witness she and her husband had been invited to visit a friend in the flats on Friday night for drinks.

She said they had a drink at the flat with her friend and another woman and then went to a party at a club. However, her husband was asked to leave after it was discovered that they took a bottle of alcohol into the club with them, against the club’s rules.

She said she and the others continued to “have fun inside” until the club closed. “When we got outside my husband had already taken a taxi ... I assumed that he went home.”

She said they had met the off-duty policeman from the flats, who offered them a lift. She did not know him but her friend did as they lived near each other.

“I then heard a noise that sounded like fireworks going on continuously, then it was quiet. I never thought those were the gunshots that killed my husband because there were no arguments or commotion prior to the shooting."
Maxine Pillay, murder victim's wife

Pillay said her friend invited the man for more drinks in the flat.

Everything was fine until Pillay arrived at around 4 am shouting for Maxine and saying they must let her out as she had two children to care for.

“I begged my friend to open the door for me so that I can go to my husband but she refused. They told me that he is going to scream and eventually go away. I told them that he is not going to go, I know him.

“I then heard my husband saying that ‘I am here now’ and he broke the door to gain entrance into my friend’s flat that we were in. I did not see what happened after that because my friend pulled me and the other girl to hide in the bathroom.

“I counted [the bullet wounds] in shock but I never told him how many. He then said, ‘Do not worry now, just look after the children’.”
Maxine Pillay, murder victim's wife

“I then heard a noise that sounded like fireworks going on continuously, then it was quiet. I never thought those were the gunshots that killed my husband because there were no arguments or commotion prior to the shooting,” she said.

Maxine said when she came out of the bathroom a few minutes later she saw her husband lying on a bed. He was still breathing and asked her to count the bullet wounds on his body.

“I counted them in shock but I never told him how many. He then said, ‘Do not worry now, just look after the children’.”

Pillay died a few minutes later after the police arrived.

Maxine said the following day she went to the police to open a case but she was told a case had already been opened.

“I want justice for my husband. He did not deserve to die like that. He died because he went to fetch me. My two children will never see their father again because of this man who killed him. He must face the law for killing my husband,” she said.

READ | Late-night Pietermaritzburg party ends in tragedy

“We just went out to have a good time and I never thought that it will end in so much pain. What makes things worse is that the person who did this showed no remorse at all after the incident.”

On Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele told The Witness that both an inquest and an attempted murder docket had been opened at the Pietermaritzburg police station for investigation.

She said it was alleged that a 30-year-old man (Pillay) broke into the premises at Manor and “stabbed a 27-year-old male on the abdomen, arm and chest”. The stabbing victim drew his firearm and fired shots, Mbhele said.

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