The Durban man claims he is now suffering from severe depression.
A DURBAN man accused of the murder of his wife, who was found lifeless in a bathtub on Christmas Eve, told the court that he does not remember anything from the night his wife was found strangled.
Navin Chanderlal, 53, told the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court through an affidavit read into the record by his lawyer, Chris Gounden, that he was heavily sedated on self-medication for depression that night. He alleged he was woken by a security guard and found his wife dead.
Chanderlal said he had been on the medication for a while and once taken, he became drowsy.
“I am suffering from severe depression and I am on self-medication and it puts me in a sedated state. I do not remember anything that happened that night. I am not in a good state of health as I suffer from high blood pressure and ulcers, and am on chronic treatment,” he said.
Gounden said the state’s case was weak and Chanderlal deserved to be out on bail for the duration of the trial.
Chanderlal was on Monday granted bail of R3 000 after prosecutor Nompumelelo Marx did not oppose his application.
Marx, however, requested the court to impose strict bail conditions.
Magistrate EM Mzolo ordered Chanderlal to hand in his passport and any other travel documents to the police and not to interfere with state witnesses.
He would also have to report to the Chatsworth police station every Wednesday. The matter was remanded to April 24 for further investigation.
Chanderlal’s wife Jennifer Pillay, 65, a retired nurse, was found lifeless in a bathtub at their Silverglen home on December 24.
Post mortem results revealed that the cause of death was strangulation.
She was buried on December 28.
According to reports, Chanderlal pressed a security panic alarm when he found her lifeless body in the bathroom around 8pm on Christmas Eve.
The Sunday Tribune reported that Pillay, who had worked as a nurse in Dubai and retired in 2016, had intended to relocate and live with her son, Gino, in London. She has a daughter living in Australia.
Chanderlal’s relatives attended yesterday’s hearing and paid his bail.
None of Pillay’s relatives or children were in court yesterday.
Gounden said Chanderlal was relieved to be released. He said there was no need for his client to have been kept in custody as he had co-operated with the police.
“The police asked him to come to the police station on January 11, and he did. On arrival at the police station, he was arrested,” he said.
Gounden said the state did not have a strong case. It relied on circumstantial evidence and had no witnesses.