“I acted in self-defence”

Gungapersad Nash Singh

Gungapersad Nash Singh

Published Apr 14, 2024


“I acted in self-defense,” Rohjay Doolabh said in his bail application in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

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

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

In his affidavit for bail, read out by his attorney Rajen Nathalall, Doolabh said Singh had a long history of abuse.

He described Singh as a “violent, abusive and a vulgar individual”.

According to Doolabh, on the night of the shooting Seema contacted his wife and told her Singh was abusing her.

“My son and I went to the house. I was attacked by the deceased and slashed on my arm. I acted in self-defense. I left the scene to go to the hospital. I was contacted by the investigating officer the next day and told to meet him at the police station. I handed over my licensed firearm to the police and I did not resist arrest.”

Doolabh said he was shocked at the allegation that he tried to kill his sister.

Rohjay Doolabh

The court heard that Doolabh was the sole breadwinner of his family.

“I have strong emotional family ties. If I am denied bail I will lose my job and my family will suffer because I won’t be able to pay for our medical aid, bond and car. It was also difficult to prepare for trial while at Westville Prison because the facilities were inadequate.”

He told the court he could afford R5 000 bail.

However, State Prosecutor Calvin Govender, said bail would be opposed and they aimed to prove that the murder was premeditated.

Govender read out an affidavit by Philani Msizazwe, the investigating officer.

Msizazwe said on the day of the incident, Singh was at home with Seema and their son.

“The deceased (Singh) was under the influence of alcohol and began fighting with his wife. He then went to their outbuilding to sleep. Seema and the accused’s (Doolabh) wife were talking on the phone and Seema told her that the deceased had been under the influence of alcohol.”

He said Doolabh overheard the conversation and wanted to speak to Singh but Seema told him that he was asleep in the outbuilding.

The court heard that Doolabh had insisted on speaking to Singh and Seema took the phone to him but Singh refused to speak.

Msizazwe said Doolabh insisted again and when Singh took the phone they began to argue.

“The accused told the deceased that he was going to come for him. The deceased replied saying that he would chop him.”

Moments later, Seema heard Singh screaming and when she went outside her home her husband was standing in the yard and her brother was outside their gate.

“She went in front of her husband to protect him and the accused fired a shot. The deceased hid behind a car and the accused opened the gate to the yard and shot the deceased at close range.”

The matter was adjourned to next week and Doolabh was remanded at Westville Prison.


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