While murdered Pietermaritzburg businesswoman Kavitha Nerputh was fighting a harassment case in court, she still took the time to care for the wellbeing of those around her, her former lawyer said on Thursday.
“When I used to go with her to court, she would pick me up from the office, go and buy bottles of water, go and get lunch for me and everybody else in court, even the court orderlies. This wasn’t once but always,” attorney Siva Chetty told News24.
Nerputh was smart, capturing all his notes and reading case authorities. She then handled two other harassment cases on her own, he said.
“All of them were finalised in her favour. It is really shocking what happened to her, she had so much ambition and responsibilities,” said Chetty.
“She was the sole breadwinner and a mentor to her children [Aryana and Junior], who are law students.”
Nerputh, 41, was found inside her vehicle in Alexandra Road, Scottsville, at around 19:30 on Monday, according to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
She said Nerputh was suspected to have been strangled. Reports suggested a cellphone charger cable was used.
All the doors of her vehicle were locked and the police had to break the back door to access it, Mbele said.
No one has been arrested.
The mother of three ran a company which sold ForeverWell Tea, a weight loss product, at the nearby Camps Drift business park.
Her funeral took place in Cato Ridge on Wednesday afternoon.
Chetty, who helped Nerputh with her divorce many years ago, had represented her in a case in which she was granted an order last year protecting her from harassment by a former friend.
He did not know who might be behind her untimely death and was shocked to read reports that she had feared for her life and wanted more protection.
“It was last year that I last spoke to her. She came to see me and was looking good. She said she had [found] offices for her business.”
He said he was not aware that “things had gone so bad” for her.
One woman told News24 that she became friends with Nerputh through an online parenting group in 2016, while pregnant with her twins.
“I live in Cape Town, but we could chat on WhatsApp and call each other. Kavitha was a friend and guardian angel to me and my family,” she said.
She received comfort and support from her in difficult times.
“She was a loveable person, my role model, a pillar to lean on. She fought so many battles where she was threatened, harassed, et cetera… I pray to God that Kavitha gets justice.”
Chetty plans to contact the Nerputh family to find out how he can help them get justice.