Robbery admitted, murder denied

Riyaad Salegie
Riyaad Salegie

The man accused of murdering Port Elizabeth businessman Bhaven Moodley after robbing him at his home pleaded guilty to housebreaking and robbery on Tuesday but denied any involvement in the death.

Instead Riyaad Salegie, 26, claimed he and an accomplice, who is not being named as he has not been charged, planned to rob Moodley to get money to buy drugs.

This formed part of his plea explanation read out in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday.

Moodley, 37, was murdered in his Crammer Street, Malabar home on January 17 2016.

A postmortem showed Moodley’s death was “compatible with the application of blunt force to the neck and chest”.

Salegie claimed he and his accomplice planned to rob Moodley as they were both unemployed and needed money for drugs.

He further claimed that he was assigned as the lookout during the robbery and that both men had put on balaclavas.

The accomplice allegedly wore gloves during the crime.

Salegie said he was given gloves to wear but decided not to as they did not fit properly.
Salegie has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and rape.

He was arrested on January 18.

Police Warrant Officer Phillip Bekker told the court he had collected a number of items of evidence, including DNA samples and fingerprints, when at the scene.

“I have no doubt the fingerprints collected at the house and in the car belong to the accused before court,” he said.

Two crucial prints were found on a glass TV stand in the bedroom where Moodley was murdered, which belong to Salegie, Bekker said.

Salegie claimed these prints were made after he went to inspect the condition of Moodley after he saw his accomplice in the bedroom.

“I went over to the deceased and bent down next to him to see what his condition was and rested my right hand on a glass table top next to where he was lying,” Salegie said.

Bekker said he received a police fingerprint form of the accomplice but when he compared this to fingerprints lifted at the scene he could not connect them.

More than 13 fingerprint samples were collected.

The case continues on Wednesday.