Murder accused Durban cop granted bail

Durban - An eThekwini metro policeman accused of shooting dead his girlfriend and hiding evidence was granted bail in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu granted eThekwini metro police officer Dayandran "Devon" Govender, 44, bail of R10 000 and ordered that he surrender his passport and report once a week to the Durban central police station.

He was also ordered to refrain from interfering with investigations.

Govender is accused of shooting 32-year-old Rosemary Bell in her house where the two had lived for the past three years.

The court was told that a cushion with a bullet hole was found hidden behind Bell's couch in her Greenwood Park home in Durban.

In an affidavit read to the court by prosecutor Blackie Swart, Independent Police Investigative Directorate investigator Ntombi Gibson said she found the scatter cushion behind Bell's couch.

The local Northglen News newspaper last week quoted a Terence Road resident, who did not want to be named, as saying he had heard a muffled shot followed by three "blood-curdling screams", and then silence.

These reports of a muffled shot prompted Gibson to return to the house and investigate further.

"I searched and moved the couches and found the cushion hidden behind the couch," said Gibson.

Swart told the court the evidence was that Bell had wanted to end her five-year relationship with Govender.

Messages on her phone showed she had demanded Govender return her BMW and remove his clothing from her house.

Govender had lived with the businesswoman and her daughter for the past three years.

His lawyer Sunil Singh told the court his client did not have any previous convictions and would plead not guilty.

Govender was not a flight risk, had worked for the police for the past 20 years, and police had already secured all the forensic evidence needed.

In Govender's affidavit, he said: "I am emotionally distraught by her death."

His service pistol was alleged to have been used in the killing.

Several of Govender's colleagues and his first wife attended court.