South African student recalls how he killed girlfriend
28 May 2014, 17:23
Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - A 19-year-old student has admitted to murdering a fellow student last year, saying he was angry because she wanted to end their relationship.
Claudius Chetty described in a statement before the Pietermaritzburg regional court on Tuesday how he had repeatedly stabbed Rashmika Janthielayal, 17, at the Northdale FET College campus on 3 June last year, and only stopped when she fell to the ground.
But Chetty’s confession and his expression of remorse did not impress Rashmika’s parents, Vicky and Shireen Janthielayal of Greytown.
They said he had put them “through hell” for almost a year while continuing to deny guilt for their daughter’s murder.
“Now suddenly he says he is remorseful. It is too late. The only time we will be happy is if he goes to prison for life. Nothing else would be just. He knew what he was doing,” Shireen Janthielayal told The Witness after the hearing.
She said Rashmika’s death was traumatic for the entire family and it was still difficult to cope with her loss.
Chetty was arrested soon after Rashmika was stabbed, apparently in full view of witnesses, on a stairway at the college.
Post-mortem findings showed she was stabbed 14 times.
At his bail application in October last year, Chetty said in an affidavit he “quite categorically” intended to plead not guilty to the murder charge facing him, but did not want to discuss the merits of the case.
He was refused bail and has remained in custody since.
Represented by legal aid attorney Lauren Marais, Chetty said on Tuesday that he and Rashmika were involved in a “love relationship” at the time of the incident.
“On the day in question, I proceeded to the FET College... where the deceased [Rashmika] was a student. We were having problems in our relationship and I proceeded there so that we could iron out some of these issues. I approached the deceased and requested to talk to her.
“We spoke to each other and she made it clear to me that she no longer wished to continue our relationship. Upon hearing this I became very angry and when the deceased turned around to walk away from me I pulled out the knife that I had in my possession.
“I began stabbing the deceased all over her body. I only stopped stabbing the deceased when she fell to the ground.
“Members of the public began gathering at the scene and tried to help the deceased. The police arrived at the scene and I was arrested.”
Chetty admitted having no justification for stabbing Rashmika, saying he had acted intentionally, realising that his actions would cause her death.
He said he was truly remorseful for his actions and begged the court’s mercy when imposing sentence.
The case was adjourned until 23 June for the court to obtain a probation officer’s report.
- The Witness