Guilty lover admits to killing in rage

2010-01-28 00:00

A MAN described in a statement to the Pietermaritzburg High Court how he killed the mother of his three children in a jealous rage over her alleged affair with another man in 2005.

He fled the scene and denied all knowledge of her death to police at the time, but, on January 13 this year he handed himself over to the police because he could no longer contain the emotional guilt he was carrying.

“My emotions became unbearable. As a result, I decided to go to the police and tell them of what I had done,” Siyabonga Wiseman Kathide (26) said in a statement read to high court Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo by Kathide’s legal aid attorney, Kelvin Singh, yesterday.

Kathide describes in the statement how he had struck his former lover, Nozipho Cynthia Mdlalose, three times on her head with a stick, knocking her to the ground at Utrecht, 50 km from Newcastle, on December 27, 2005. He then set fire to the grass nearby and she was consumed by the flames.

“She was not moving and I assumed that she was pretending to be injured. I picked up [a] box of matches and lit the grass nearby the deceased in order to scare her,” he said.

Kathide said the fire spread quickly and it started to burn Mdlalose’s clothes. He had removed his jacket and tried to put out the flames, but the fire was “too strong” for him.

He had then left the scene with their one-year-old child, Nothando.

“I went straight to the river and spent the night there. The next morning I went back to her home. On my way to her home I learnt from the neighbours that she died. I left Nothando a few metres from the deceased’s house. I thereafter left the area and went to stay in Ladysmith with relatives.”

Kathide said that when a policeman phoned a few days later and informed him of Mdlalose’s death and inquired about his whereabouts at the time of her death, he had denied all knowledge of it. “I lied to him because I was afraid of what I had done,” he said.

Describing what had sparked the murder, he said he and Mdlalose had started a love relationship in 1997 and had “three lovely children together”.

He used to visit her at weekends, as he was employed during the week and lived a great distance away from her.

On the day in question he had gone to visit her and was looking forward to spending time with her and their children.

Near her home he had seen her on the road next to the house, but, due to the “lateness of hour”, she could not see him approaching. Before he could call out, he saw she was with another male. She was also carrying their child.

“Suddenly I saw her kiss this male person in a passionate embrace. I was totally devastated,” he said.

He said that when the man left he went to the house and immediately questioned Mdlalose as to why she had kissed the man. “She refused to respond. We thereafter got into a heated argument with each other.”

The judge will hear submissions in mitigation of sentence tomorrow.

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