A Pretoria West constable told a police colonel that his girlfriend had manipulated him into killing her husband, a high-ranking police officer, by promising him a better life, the High Court in Pretoria heard yesterday.
Colonel Fire Masilela, the investigating officer into the January 2016 murder of Colonel Renier Lagois, testified in the trial of Pretoria West police constable Rishen Rampersad, 24, who denied murdering Lagois and robbing him of his service pistol and car.
Masilela said Rampersad at first denied any knowledge of Lagois’ murder, but said after his first court appearance he wanted to talk because “this thing is troubling him”.
“He said ‘I killed the deceased. I was manipulated by this lady, Caroline [Naidoo, Lagois’ life partner]. She promised me a better life. The house will belong to us and there’s an insurance policy that will pay out’”, he testified.
He said Rampersad also told him Caroline was his girlfriend and the relationship started a long time ago, but his family did not approve.
“He told me Caroline picked him up after work and took him to her house. She told him he must wait in the garage while she fetched the firearm. When she gave him the firearm, she told him it was one up, fully loaded.
“When the deceased came and opened the door, he came up and shot him 14 times,” Masilela testified.
He did not write down Rampersad’s confession because he was part of the investigation and could not take his statement, but arranged for another police officer to conduct a pointing-out with Rampersad.
Counsel for Rampersad said the accused would testify that he was tortured to a point where he soiled himself, was constantly threatened to confess and and went along with the pointing-out because he feared further torture, which Masilela denied.
Masilela said Rampersad was already at the murder scene when he arrived and was acting very strangely.
His understanding was that Caroline and Lagois still lived together, but were going to separate and slept in different rooms.
He conceded that Caroline, her daughters and the maid were at the scene when Lagois was shot but told him they heard no shots, although neighbours a few houses away said they had heard shots.
The trial continues.