/ 14 July 2008

Three in court for Durban drive-by shootings

Three men appeared in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court in Durban on a charge of murder linked to a spate of drive-by shootings in the area.

The three men — taxi boss Duncan Arumugam (33) Pravendran Perumal (26) and Brandon Govender (27) — were remanded in custody until July 22 for a formal bail hearing.

The court ordered that the bail hearing be held in the Durban Regional Court.

The three are accused of shooting 33-year-old Calvin Naidoo on April 10 in Crossmoor in Durban.

Naidoo was travelling toward Crossmoor Drive with three passengers when unidentified gunmen fired six shots at his Chrysler.

Police spokesperson Captain Edmund Singh said at the time that Naidoo died almost instantly, after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head.

Initially prosecutors and defence counsel met in the chamber of Magistrate M Kuboni.

Court officials cleared passageways outside the court due to security concerns. Only the media and members of the police organised crime unit were allowed in the court.

It is believed that the case was referred to the Durban Regional Court because of security concerns in the Chatsworth court.

Arumugam has been at the centre of what is believed to be a ongoing feud that has left 17 people dead and 14 injured over about three years in a spate of least 15 drive-by shootings.

The taxi boss’ 26-year-old brother Gerald Arumugam, a cousin, and his five-year old son Dredin-Lee were killed in two of those shootings.

Gerald was killed in June, his wife’s cousin Donovan Pillay died in February after being ambushed, while his son was killed in 2005.

No-one has ever been convicted for any of the killings. – Sapa