Case of Durban cops in court for Regan Naidoo’s death postponed yet again

Naidoo died in police custody in 2018

By Benita Enoch

27 January 2023

Regan Naidoo’s father, Timothy, his aunts, Premmie Pillay and Ruby Mahalingan, and his uncle, Jeffery Mahalingan, at court where 22 police officers have been charged with Regan’s murder. Photo: Benita Enoch

The case of 32-year-old Regan Naidoo, who died while in police custody, resumed at the Durban Magistrates Court on Friday.

Twenty-two cops, most of whom are attached to the Chatsworth police station, returned to the dock to face charges of kidnapping, torture, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

The case was once again postponed because the state wanted a copy of a postmortem report compiled by Professor Steven Naidoo.

State prosecutor Surekha Marimuthu said she wanted clarity on whether Professor Naidoo was a possible witness for the defence.

Regan Naidoo was picked up with two others at a petrol station in Montford, Chatsworth, on 28 August 2018 on suspicion of having a gun used in the execution of an alleged hitman.

Despite hours of interrogation, and the assurance of full co-operation from Naidoo’s father, Timothy, who went to the police station, the gun was never found.

At court on Friday, Naidoo’s elderly father said he would never stop pursuing justice for his son. He maintains that his son did not die, as police told him, after choking on a pie or from breathing problems.

Naidoo’s family dutifully appeared in court for the umpteenth time on Friday. The case has had multiple postponements since 2018.

At court, Naidoo’s father told GroundUp that his son was the sole provider at home. Regan Naidoo worked for himself as a security alarm technician.

“He paid our rent, he clothed us, he put food on our table. At 60 years old, I have to go out and find work to keep us surviving. Regan looked after us and his wife and children,” said the bereaved father.

“We didn’t have [life] insurance on him. We had to have a cash funeral. Every month end, I get worried about paying the rent. This month, I might earn R5,000. Next month maybe nothing.”

Marimuthu also told Magistrate Visagie that accused Captain Kevin James and Rajan Sanders had laid complaints with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last year. The state had responded, and it was awaiting feedback from the DPP. The details of the complaint have not been made public.

The case resumes on 28 March.