Man who went missing after wife’s murder found hanged in Durban hotel

Verusha Padayachee, who was bludgeoned to death, with her husband Roland Pillay, who was recently found hanged from a Durban hotel's burglar bars. Image: Facebook

Police who tracked down Roland Pillay say they would have preferred to have arrested him and brought him before a court of law.

Since the murder of businesswoman Verusha Padayachee last Monday, her husband Roland Pillay seemingly vanished into thin air.

After the murder, police launched an intensive manhunt that covered hundreds of square kilometres and met many dead ends as the task team, headed by Alexandra Road detective Warrant Officer R Naidoo and Crime Intelligence’s Captain Rumen Maistry, followed up on all available information, reports Maritzburg Sun.

Public Eye reported last week that SAPS officers, detectives and a dog unit found a car belonging to Verusha on a farm in Hilton, Pietermaritzburg early on Friday morning.

Police found a reel of hosepipe, electrical cable, and a knife in a white VW Polo, which appeared to have been switched off after the car suffered damage.

New information also recently came to light that witnesses who met Roland in the period shortly after his wife’s murder reported that he had bruises and scratch marks on his face. He was also seen at a local pharmacy where he purchased painkillers and plasters.

ALSO READ: Manhunt for ‘missing’ husband of murdered Maritzburg gym owner intensifies

On Wednesday, the task team finally pinpointed Pillay’s location to a motel in the Durban CBD. As the detectives headed to Durban, hoping to make an arrest, news arrived that Pillay was found dead in his room at Metro Lodge. He was found hanging from the room’s burglar guards.

A suicide note was found at the scene, but there were no details in the note about his wife’s murder, leaving many unanswered questions.

“Since the murder, we worked round the clock to trace Pillay to shed light on what exactly happened last week. We wanted whoever was responsible for Verusha’s murder to answer in a court of law so that we could ensure justice was done.

“However, the recent developments have now brought closure to this investigation and we hope that both families can start the process of finding closure to this traumatic episode. Gender violence is a national priority and the SAPS will work tirelessly to ensure that those culpable of such crimes are brought to justice,” said Captain Maistry.

Staff at Metro Lodge, who were at the scene when Pillay’s body was recovered, described the room as being in a “terrible state”.

“The room was untidy and there were lots of fast food packets and containers everywhere. We also saw packets and bottles of medication,” said a staff member.

Maritzburg Sun can also disclose that among the items found at the Metro Lodge, police took into evidence the clothing believed to have been worn by Pillay last Monday and that contained traces of bloodstains.

It is believed that Pillay checked into the West Street bed and breakfast and had been holed up there for several days before his death.

The city was left reeling last week from the brutal murder of Verusha, who was bludgeoned to death at her Lincoln Meade home on Monday afternoon. Padayachee, the owner of Reshape Gym, was found by distraught family members who went in search for her after she didn’t arrive to pick up her four-year-old daughter from her in-laws’ home.

The ANC’s Rachel Soobiah commended the police for their efforts in tracking down Pillay.

“It is unfortunate that he was not found alive and will not face the full might of the law. There is hope that the family will find closure at this moment, and our thoughts and prayers are with the child who has lost both a mother and a father. Men must protect women of our society; every women and child must know that they will be safe. On Friday, we will hold a vigil for Verusha outside the Reshape Gym at 6pm,” said Soobiah.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print

today in print