Murder accused released on bail

Rohjay Doolabh. Picture: Jehran Naidoo

Rohjay Doolabh. Picture: Jehran Naidoo

Published Apr 23, 2024



MURDER accused Rohjay Doolabh was released on R10 000 bail in the Durban Magistrate’s Court.

Doolabh, 54, from Effingham Heights, a manager at Fidelity ADT, is charged with the murder of his brother-in-law, Gungapersad Nash Singh, 62, a retired teacher. He is also been charged with the attempted murder of his sister Seema (Singh’s wife).

It is alleged that Doolabh shot Singh four times, outside his home in Newlands West, on March 30, following an argument.

During court proceedings on Tuesday, Doolabh’s attorney Rajen Nathalall, presented affidavits from Doolabh’s wife, Neshani, his son Rishae and cousins Rajendra and Kamlaveni Ramjee, in support of his bail application.

Nathalall also presented screenshots of conversations Doolabh had with Seema and her son Nishen, to show the nature of relationship between the family members.

According to Neshani, Seema confided in her about the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband. “The deceased (Singh) was abusive and threatened her.”

Neshani said Seema was terrified to go on holiday to Mauritius with Singh because if he abused her, there would be no one to help her.

She said on the day of the incident Seema made a hysterical call to her , complaining that Singh was being vulgar and abusive.

“I told her to calm down.”

Nathalall told the court that Seema was in constant contact with Neshani for support.

He said in some of the text messages sent to Neshani from Seema she spoke of feeling depressed and not being able to sleep.

In Rishae’s affidavit the court heard that he had accompanied his father to the home because Singh had been abusing his aunt.

“We went to calm the situation.”

Rishae said when they arrived at the house, Singh opened the gate and attacked his father with a slasher.

He said there was a fight and he heard gunshots.

Rishae said his aunt was on the veranda and disputed that his father fired a shot at her.

The court heard that Singh had contacted Rajendra to inform him that Doolabh was coming to his home.

According to Rajendra’s affidavit, Singh said: “Your bro is coming here. I am waiting for him to come. I will chop him and chop him into pieces.”

Rajendra said Singh sounded very aggressive and was not backing down. He also sounded like he was under the influence of alcohol. He told the court from the conversation he could say that Doolabh acted in self-defence.

Kamlaveni said that Seema was too afraid to complain to the authorities about the abuse.

Nathalall also presented messages from previous years from Nishen telling Doolabh about the issues he was having with his father.

He also read a message from Seema where she told Doolabh that she loved and missed him.

In a further affidavit by Doolabh, he said he did not try to kill his sister.

“My objective was to go to the house and save my sister.”

State Prosecutor, Calvin Govender, read out an affidavit by Seema.

In it she said nobody had the right to shoot at her husband or her.

Govender said they opposed bail because the murder was premeditated.

He said Doolabh went to Singh’s house with a firearm.

“If you are going to calm a situation down will you take a gun?”

Govender said the defence had painted Singh as abusive and Doolabh as someone who went to defend Seema.

“Why is she not testifying in court for her brother?”

Govender also asked if Doolabh had acted in self-defence, why did he not wait at the scene or call the police.

He said that the incident occurred at 10pm and he only got treatment after 1am.

“If he was so seriously injured why did he not go to the police station. Where was he for those hours?”

Govender said the text messages presented in court were old and he saw no evidence in them.

He said Seema was the only witness for the State and if released on bail the State was of the view that Doolabh would persuade her not to testify.

Doolabh was released on R10 000 bail and the matter was adjourned to June.

As part of his bail conditions he is not allowed to communicate with Seema.