Sadia Sukhraj: Father relives that fateful day in court

#PIETERMARITZBURG: Yesterday’s court proceedings in the trial of the late Sadia Sukhraj was an emotional day for many.

It was a testing day for the father of the slain 9-year-old at Pietermaritzburg High Court in Durban on Tuesday as he explained to the court what happened on that day..

Judge Esther Steyn heard the chilling moments from the father, Shailendra Sukhraj as his daughter was snatched from his family.

Sukhraj’s testimony detailed the events that led up to her death, the one thing that he attempted to prevent.

Who shot Sadia Sukhraj?

Suspect, Sibonelo Mkhize is allegedly to have killed Sukhraj during the botched hijacking in Shallcross, Chatsworth, in Durban on May 28, 2018. Mkhize has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mkhize’s alleged accomplice, Siyabonga Bulose, was killed while fleeing from the scene.

Shailendra Sukhraj speaks out

Sukhraj said that they headed to school on May 28, when his family was attacked outside his in-laws residence.

“We live very close to my in-laws. We dropped off our smallest, Jaziel, who was six months old at the time. As we were walking out, I heard my wife gasp: ‘Oh my God!'”

The Sukhraj family were confronted by two men – one brandishing a gun – and they demanded the keys to his Hyundai Tucson where little Sadia was seated in.

“They were just a few metres from me. I tossed my keys to him.”

The hijackers attempted to reverse out of a below-road-level driveway when they crashed into the gate.

This was the moment that Sukhraj pulled out his firearm thinking of his child in the car.

“Before I fired, there were a million things that crossed [my] mind as a father. I was afraid of losing my child to murder, rape, human trafficking or mutilation. I just wanted my child back. I drew my firearm and shot at the driver.”

Sukhraj with the aid of a passerby attempted to locate the vehicle in earnest to find his child.

After failing to locate the car, he realised he could use a tracker app and find the vehicle. He went to the scene and was told his daughter had been shot. He then went to the hospital that she had been taken to.

At the hospital

“When I got there, the first people I saw was my wife and brother-in-law,” he said as tears rolled down his eyes.

“I was told that the doctors were working on Sadia. Little did I know she had already passed on.”

Sukhraj was emotional on the stand at that moment, he said that he eventually insisted on seeing his daughter.

“The doctor on call then came to me and informed me that Sadia passed away. I was then allowed to see her. I saw a lifeless body on the stretcher and I could not believe that this child was taken away from me in seconds.”

The trial continues today, 13 February.

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