Sivhidzo guilty of husband’s murder

2010-12-07 14:40

Mulalo Sivhidzo will spend Christmas in prison after she was convicted for the murder of her late husband, Avhatakali Netshisaulu.

Sivhidzo and her two co-accused are facing possible life imprisonment after they were found guilty in the Johannesburg High Court today following a four-year trial.

Sivhidzo, Nthabudzeni Matzhenene and Johannes Arnold Sello were all found guilty of murder, kidnapping and malicious damage to property while Arnold was found guilty of an additional charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Netshisaulu, the son of former City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu was killed on December 7 2006 after he was followed by two cars which pushed him off the road.

He was then assaulted and bundled into the boot of his car which was set alight in Honeydew. He was burnt beyond recognition.

After the judge handed down sentence Sivhidzo briefly wept and members of her family hugged her. She and her co-accused refused to comment to the media.

Handing down sentence Judge Naren Pandya said: “The court finds Sivhidzo responsible for recruiting and arranging the killing of the deceased (Netshisaulu) on the night of 7 December 2006.”

Pandya said even though she did not take part in the actual murder she had “common purpose” with the other accused to commit the crime.

The judge further remarked that Sello was one of the people who followed Netshisaulu, cornered him and then forced him into the boot of his car and set him alight while he was still alive.

Sivhidzo has been on bail for the duration of the trial and since she was convicted her lawyer, Anneline Roestoff, tried to re-apply for bail to ensure that she does not spend time in prison pending her sentencing.

State prosecutor, Advocate Maria Papachristoforou, opposed the application citing that Sivhidzo was a “flight risk”. She said: “Sivhidzo faces life imprisonment and that fact alone makes her a flight risk.”

Pandya rejected the bail application.

Sivhidzo’s lawyer, when asked if she was planning to appeal the conviction said: “I need to go through the judgment first and then need to get instructions from my client.”

Outside court a relieved Tsedu said he did not know why Sivhidzo had killed his son in the most “gruesome way”.

He said: “Whether Sivhidzo gets life, 12 years or two years Avhatakali is gone and he is not coming back.”

Tsedu said the way the police and the prosecution had handled the case had restored his faith in the criminal justice system.

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