Accused in mall stabbing to plead not guilty

2014-08-20 00:00

THE man alleged to have killed his fiancée at Liberty Mall before attempting suicide in July, plans to plead not guilty to the murder.

Nkululeko Ngubane (30) is charged with stabbing his fiancée Sinoliswe Mshengu to death at Gate 2 at the mall where she worked, manning a boom gate.

Afterwards he allegedly jumped off the nearby bridge onto the N3 and sustained multiple fractures.

Warrant Officer Milton Hadebe yesterday opposed his release on bail on grounds he would interfere with witnesses. He told magistrate Ntsoaki Ndawonde that a woman who witnessed the stabbing is still severely traumatised.

Another person, from whom Ngubane allegedly bought a knife inside the mall shortly before the stabbing, is still too afraid to make a statement, he said.

Hadebe said he also fears that if released, Ngubane could again attempt suicide or that his own life might be in danger from the enraged community where Mshengu lived at Willowfountain.

He said Ngubane and Mshengu were involved in a love relationship and he was told Ngubane had been paying lobola for her.

CCTV footage showed him driving into the mall that morning in his white Jetta. He did not, however, go to his place of work at a men’s clothing store.

At 9.08 am he is seen “walking around” the mall before going into a shop and buying a knife for R100.

He got into his car and tried to drive away, but seemed to have trouble starting the car.

A man helped him push-start it.

He then drove to Gate 2 where Mshengu was, and they spoke. “At 9.49 am he started stabbing her,” said Hadebe. “Being left-handed he stabbed her once on the right side of her neck. She fell down. After she fell he stabbed her four more times … she did not get up and she died on the scene.”

Hadebe said Mshengu’s female colleague had tried to “push” Ngubane away from Mshengu. Afterwards, Ngubane got into his car and drove away. He reversed back once to insert his card into a slot to open the boom gate and then left.

He was later found lying on the N3 after he jumped off the bridge near the mall.

Hadebe said police recovered the murder weapon, covered in blood, from inside Ngubane’s car.

Ngubane’s lawyer, Simphiwe Ngwenya, suggested to Hadebe that bail conditions “especially in view of his [physical] condition” would ensure that Ngubane does not go near Willowfountain, the mall or interfere with witnesses.

He also told him that Ngubane intends pleading not guilty to the murder charge.

The case was adjourned until August 26.

NKULULEKO Ngubane was carried in and out of the accused’s dock at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court by court orderlies as he was unable to walk.

In spite of his two sets of crutches, he struggled to get in and out of court.

When he returned after the lunch adjournment, orderlies had obtained a wheelchair for him and wheeled him into the courtroom.

While he listened to the evidence of officer Milton Hadebe, tears rolled down his cheeks at times.

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