‘Single gunshot from close range killed Desai’

13/05/2016 – A peaceful convoy organised by Malabar Patrols, of which Desai was a member, hit the streets
File picture: Brian Witbooi

A single shot to the head was all it took to kill Port Elizabeth crime fighter Naeem Desai.

It happened after a plan to rob the bread delivery van the businessman was driving.

Testifying in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday, forensic pathologist Dr Prudent Mgobo said the gunshot entered through the right lower part of Desai’s head and exited through the left front section.

It probably did not kill Desai instantly.

“There was blood in the windpipe, meaning he was breathing, [so] I wouldn’t say it was an instant death,” Mgobo said.

Deswin “Boetie Baas” Kleinbooi, 22, and Eston “Gaans” Afrikaner, 19, are accused of killing Desai.

They have pleaded guilty to charges of murder, robbery and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mgobo said the fatal shot would have been fired from behind the head and at a distance of not more than 30cm.

Desai was gunned down in the early hours of May 12 2016, while delivering bread at a spaza shop in Helenvale.

Intense cross-examination by defence advocate Jodine Coertzen raised questions about the motives of state witness Ayanda Frolick, 26, after he initially did not report what he had heard to police.

Frolick testified that he overheard Kleinbooi hatching a plan to rob Desai minutes before his death.

But Coertzen called Frolick a liar and said her client, Kleinbooi, was not in the area on the day of the shooting.

“He was there. I heard him and saw him,” Frolick insisted.

Kleinbooi claimed he was at his uncle’s Stanford Road home at the time of shooting.

Afrikaner’s advocate, Peet Schoonraad, said it would have been impossible for Frolick to hear or see the accused while standing in an outside toilet next to his house.

The first officer on the scene, Sergeant Andre van Greunen, was next to face the heat when Coertzen asked him why he did not ask witnesses what time the incident took place.

“It was a mistake,” Van Greunen said.

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