Councillor guilty of trying to kill wife

2009-08-24 00:00

HARDING town councillor Siyabonga Ngaleka (38) was convicted in the high court in Durban on Friday on charges that he orchestrated a brutal attack on his wife, Anatoria, in a failed bid to have her killed in 2001.

But Ngaleka was acquitted by KZN Judge President Vuka Tshabalala and two assessors on a charge that he allegedly shot dead one of the assailants he had hired to kill her in order to silence him.

The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Ngaleka was responsible for the murder of Sicelo Jaca, who was found shot dead at the roadside at Mahobe, Umzimkulu, on October 18, 2001.

The court will sentence Ngaleka on October 15 on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to murder and attempted murder of his wife on September 19 and 20, 2001.

State advocate Ian Cooke has submitted that a long jail sentence is the only suitable sentence for Ngaleka.

In her evidence at the trial, Anatoria Ngaleka — who chose to give evidence in open court — said she has left the Harding area and “lives in fear” of her former husband.

She testified that she and her husband did not have a happy marriage and she left him in August 2001.

On September 4 that year, she said she and Ngaleka travelled to see an inyanga in a bid to save their marriage.

But instead Ngaleka stopped the car alongside the road and during an argument punched her repeatedly.

He sat on top of her “interrogating her” about who had told her not to return to the matrimonial home.

She soiled and wet herself and bled from the nose as a result of the assault. Ngaleka took her to a clinic for treatment and told staff that “some people” had assaulted her.

When she got an opportunity the next day she went to the police, but a policeman “discouraged her” from opening a case as Ngaleka had a brother in the police at Izingolweni.

She was treated again by a doctor that morning and booked off work for five days. Her face was swollen and one eye was closed.

She applied for a third protection order against her husband on September 12, 2001, and the order was granted.

She said that on September 19 her husband came to where she lived and she called the police.

He left, but came back later with police to retrieve some clothing.

A few hours later two “thugs” came to her home and attacked her, subjecting her to a brutal assault. She was also raped.

The attackers bundled her into a bakkie tried to shoot her near a stream. The first shot missed and the gun malfunctioned, giving her a chance to flee.

The court accepted that Nga­leka hired the assailants.

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