Rape and kidnapping added to his charges

2011-04-02 17:12

Police are planning to add charges of rape and kidnapping to the charge sheet against alleged axe murderer Joseph Ntshongwana.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge confirmed they were preparing to add the additional charges when 33-year-old Ntshongwana appeared in the Durban Magistrates Court again on Thursday.

Charges were laid on December 23 last year at the Durban Central Police Station by a Durban woman who told police she had been abducted, raped and held prisoner by Ntshongwana before she managed to ­escape.

It is understood that the task team of ­detectives led by Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Mcgray have established a link between the attack on the woman and Ntshongwana, who already faces three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and one of assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

Ntshongwana was arrested on Tuesday night and appeared in court briefly on Thursday. He was remanded in custody at the Brighton Beach Police Station, where he will undergo psychiatric assessment by a district surgeon in terms of a order by magistrate Ann Govender.

On Thursday Ntshongwana’s defence team asked the court to immediately send Ntshongwana for observation and handed over a psychiatrist’s report to the prosecution. It is understood that they wanted to attempt to have him declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

During the brief court appearance the ­burly, two-metre-tall Ntshongwana sat ­impassively while the charges against him were read out. He maintained his silence ­until Govender asked him if he understood, and responded: “Yeah, I do.’’

Police also identified the second of his three alleged victims as 35-year-old Thembinkosi Cebekulu. His body was found in the area on March 23 . They are still battling to establish the identity of the third victim, a homeless man in his early thirties.

Police have discounted the theory that ­Ntshongwana was avenging the rape of his daughter, saying they had found no trace of him having a female child.

Original reports of a revenge attack ­attracted massive public sympathy for Ntshongwana.

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