Judge denies bail, rehab centre request for man accused of killing his wife

  • A man accused of killing his wife pleaded to be kept at a drug rehabilitation centre, not in jail.
  • Shaheed Cajee claimed he and his wife were on drugs when she was killed.
  • Cajee said that he was addicted to drugs.
  • Courtesy: NEWS24

“You had enough time to rehabilitate yourself. You failed to do so when the time was right.”

The magistrate, Nishani Beharie, lashed out at Shaheed Cajee during his bail application in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Beharie subsequently denied bail to Cajee.

Cajee, accused of killing his wife, Nazreen, claimed he was addicted to drugs.

His lawyer, Jannie Kruger, pleaded that Cajee shouldn’t be incarcerated, but kept at a rehabilitation centre in Magaliesburg.

But Beharie said: “The court must look at the degree of violence. You have refuted everything in your statement. You have the right to remain silent. As we approached 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse, your wife obtained a protection order against you. She later withdrew it. She was in trauma bondage.

“Your records show you were faced not with three, but four, domestic violence cases against you, which were all later withdrawn by the deceased. She feared for her life or whatever was going to happen. The fact she was on drugs is neither here nor there. You had enough time to rehabilitate yourself and didn’t do so. You are an adult.

“Courts are faced with new bail amendments. You are facing life in jail. This court has to guard against the best interest of your three children. You had more than enough time to rehabilitate yourself. I can’t guarantee that you won’t be able to leave the rehabilitation centre.

“There are reports of drug presence in some rehabilitation centres. I’m not convinced that going to a rehabilitation centre, you won’t take drugs, endanger yourself, other people and your children. 

“It is clear that there is strong circumstantial evidence against you. I’m not satisfied you are a suitable candidate to be released on bail. Therefore, your bail is denied,” Beharie added.

Kruger earlier told the court the Cajees were on an alcohol and drug binge for four to five days, without sleep, before Nazreen was killed.

“They lived together. After his arrest, he was taken to a doctor to be examined. Hopefully, blood was withdrawn from him. This was an unfortunate incident. All lives matter. (This crime) emanates from a domestic background. There was domestic violence between the parties. The issues were either resolved or withdrawn. It seemed (like) a common practice. It continued until she died. Unfortunately, life must go on.

“My client intends to attend rehabilitation programmes until he is healed. It can only be ill-informed people who say he must be in jail. We know of [the] overpopulation in prison. There are no doctors and psychologists to assist him in jail. It is in the interest of society and justice he is granted bail. He needs to undergo treatment for 180 days. His father has already paid a deposit to the rehabilitation centre in Magaliesburg.

“If he hadn’t completed treatment, we would be informed. After his rehabilitation, he will be dealing with a changed matter. He comes from an outstanding family. Unfortunately, he fell into drugs. He was involved in drugs for a long time,” said Kruger.

“Due to their addiction history, the couple should have made other decisions in life to avoid such circumstances. This court must find it in the interest of justice. It mustn’t punish him. Taking him back to jail would be a punishment. 

“There is a good chance for him to change. He is not a flight risk. He will be detained at the facility in Magaliesburg,” Kruger added.

The prosecutor, Desmond Mabunda, replied that Cajee appeared to be a dangerous person to society, looking at how his wife was killed.

“We object to the defence. The community is angry at him. This morning, residents indicated that he should not be granted bail. Many cases were opened against him, though they were withdrawn. He is facing a serious charge of murder. Society is angry against gender-based violence (GBV). He is among those who didn’t want to be reprimanded for abusing women and kids,” said Mabunda.

It is alleged that Shaheed stabbed Nazreen to death at their rented property in Emmarentia, north of Johannesburg, on 6 December.

Her body was found after their child, worried about his mother’s well-being, alerted their neighbour.

Bloody scene

The child reported to a neighbour that his father was covered in blood, and he felt that his mother was not well. 

The neighbour rushed to the scene. 

“Upon entering the house, Cajee was sitting in the lounge. He was asked where his wife was. He replied by pointing to the bedroom. The neighbour went to the bedroom and found the victim’s body was covered with a blanket. Blood was all over the bedroom floor,” police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said at the time.

Cajee is expected back in court on 31 January.