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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

businessman from Durban's Chatsworth area had been arrested on Monday Donovan Pillay died after he was critically injured during a drive-by shooting

A Durban man who was shot six times in a drive-by shooting in Hillary, Durban, last month, died in hospital last night.Police confirmed that Donovan Pillay, 26, the cousin of a prominent Hillary taxi boss, died after he was critically injured during a drive-by shooting on February 19. He was in the intensive care unit after undergoing surgery.Taxi boss Duncan Arumugam's wife, Leanne, had also been shot three times.Police are now investigating a case of murder as well as a case of attempted murder. Although they have remained tight-lipped about a motive for the shooting, many are speculating that February's incident was gang-or-taxi-related.
Four people have been arrested in Durban in connection with a taxi-related drive-by shooting that claimed the life of a 26-year-old man,Police spokesperson Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen confirmed that a businessman from Durban's Chatsworth area had been arrested on Monday on a charge of murdering Donovan Pillay, and for the attempted murder of Pillay's cousin, Leanne Arumugam.
Another three men were arrested last week after being found in possession of the guns that believed to have been used in the shooting.
The three men have so far only been charged with the possession of unlicenced weapons while forensics experts carry out investigations to determine whether the guns were used in the February 19 shooting in Durban's Hillary suburb.
Bellair police told Sapa the weapons have so far been linked to two armed robberies - one in Pinetown and another in Chatsworth.Pillay was taking Arumugam - who is the wife of taxi boss Duncan Arumugam - to work when the incident took place last month.
They were blockaded by two cars on Fourth Street, Hillary, as they were attempting to turn into Stella Road.Occupants of two cars opened fire with AK47s and a 9mm pistol.Pillay sustained five gunshot wounds and was airlifted to Albert Luthuli Hospital while Arumugam was wounded in her arm.Pillay died on Monday.Police said the three suspects appeared in court last week and were due to re-appear in the Durban magistrate's court for a bail application on Thursday.A court date for the appearance of the Chatsworth businessman was yet to be released.
At least 17 drive-by shootings have been reported in the Chatsworth area over the past three years. The arrest on Monday was the first arrest ever made in any of the drive-by shooting cases.Family spokesman Gerald Arumugam said Pillay would be buried at the Mobeni Heights cemetery on Wednesday. - Sapa
Pillay, who was the driver of the vehicle, was shot in the chest, back, stomach and throat and passenger Leanne was shot in the arm. They were driving through the intersection of Fourth Road and Stella Road when they were shot at by the occupants of two vehicles, one in the front and the other behind them.
A police source said rounds from R5-rifles and 9mm pistols were found at the scene. The shooters apparently fled in the direction of Malvern. It is believed the Arumugams had moved from Chatsworth to Hillary last October and that February's attack was the second attempt to kill Duncan Arumugam. The last time Leanne was a victim of a drive-by shooting in 2005, she lost her 5-year-old son, Dredin Lee. At the time, police said they believed the attack was a gang-related hit on Dredin's father Duncan.Duncan was the owner of several taxis and at the time it was thought the shooting was a revenge attack for a 2003 incident for which Duncan and his brother were charged with murder. Both brothers were acquitted in 2006 of two charges of murder in a tavern shooting in Chatsworth where two people were killed.

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