Court finds murdered man’s wife guilty

2014-12-09 00:00

THE wife of murder victim Allan Griffiths (60) spent the night in jail after being found guilty yesterday of orchestrating his death.

Griffiths, who lived in the Richards Bay area, was found strangled in long grass at the side of the road near Colenso on January 20, 2006.

He had been reported missing by his sister, Carolyn Riddle of Durban, a short while before.

Griffiths’s wife Thenjiwe (31), who was charged with staging a hijacking to cover up her part in his murder, was found guilty by Judge Rishi Seegobin despite the court’s judgment being interrupted by load shedding yesterday afternoon.

The judge will give reasons for the verdict when the case resumes today.

He earlier detailed evidence including testimony that Griffiths had told his sister and his lawyer, Connie Marais, in June 2005 that he had “made a mistake” marrying Thenjiwe Griffiths and that he wanted to divorce her.

The court heard evidence — which Thenjiwe denied — that Griffiths claimed he had met her when she worked as a prostitute at a Richards Bay club and ended up marrying her.

After their marriage she had physically abused him. He also said she had locked him into his house without transport, money or food, and allowed other people to stay in the house with them against his will.

Riddle testified at the trial that she’d gone to visit her brother after receiving a desperate phone call asking for help in June 2005. When she got there, she found him in poor health, without food, car, wallet, money or identity document. He told her that Thenjiwe had taken these with her to Gauteng.

There were two women in the house, who he said were Thenjiwe’s cousins.

Riddle took Griffiths to buy food for himself and his beloved dogs. She also took him to an attorney to set the wheels in motion for a divorce, and helped him obtain a protection order and write out a new will.

Riddle said her brother was an alcoholic, but was sober at the time. In November that year Griffiths went missing.

Riddle said Thenjiwe had once threatened her by saying she knew where she lived, and warned her to leave her brother alone.

Thenjiwe said at the trial that she and Griffiths had gone to live in Gauteng without telling his family as he wanted to “get away” from their interference.

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