Pietermaritzburg man pleads guilty after killing in row over rent

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Sentencing continues on Friday in the trial of a man who admits killing another in an argument over a rent deposit.
Sentencing continues on Friday in the trial of a man who admits killing another in an argument over a rent deposit.

An argument over a rental deposit ended tragically last year when one man fatally stabbed another in the neck in Northdale.

A teary-eyed Anesh Mewelall (37) on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg regional court to killing Shamendra Pillay (35) on July 26 last year.

Mewelall told magistrate Rose Magwera that at about 1.30 pm on that day he had been walking along Greytown Road and at the Village Mall parking lot he met Pillay, who was with his daughter.

An argument ensued between the two men regarding a rental deposit refund that Mewelall wanted from Pillay.

“In shock and fear, I threw the knife on the floor and ran away.”
Anesh Mewelall.

“The argument became very heated to the point of vulgarity and threats being made by both of us.

“I became very angry and full of rage and I pulled out a knife and the deceased thereafter pulled out a sjambok from his vehicle. I then lunged forward and stabbed the deceased once in the neck,” said Mewelall.

He said that Pillay began to bleed.

Mewelall added that he was shocked at what had happened.

READ MORE | Northdale couple turn to court for help to evict non-paying tenants.

“In shock and fear, I threw the knife on the floor and ran away,” he said.

Mewelall said that he was arrested by police immediately and only then found out that Pillay had died. Mewalall was then charged with the murder. He added that he did not have a direct intention to kill Pillay when he stabbed him.

Mewalall told the court that he admits stabbing Pillay out of extreme anger when he realised that he was not going to refund him. “I have no valid defence in law for my actions,” he said.

His attorney, Clive Turton, placed his personal circumstances before the court in mitigation of sentencing. He said that Mewalall had struggled to complete Grade 11. He is married and has a 10-year-old son.

READ MORE | Pupils tell of terror after stabbing frenzy.

He said that Mewalall’s wife is temporarily employed. He was self-employed prior to his arrest doing home maintenance.

Turton added that he has no pending cases or previous convictions and he has been in custody since his arrest last year. He had applied for bail but it was denied.

Turton emphasised that Mewalall is deeply remorseful for his actions. He is also sorry for the pain and suffering his actions have caused his own family and Pillay’s family.

Sentencing proceedings will continue on Friday.

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