I taped Truter’s face, man says

2010-03-19 00:00

IN a statement admitted as evidence in the high court in Pietermaritzburg, a man on trial for the murder of cystic fibrosis sufferer Mark Truter (38) at the Thistle Hotel on March 25, 2008, describes how two of his companions held the victim while he wound silver-grey tape around his legs, taped his hands behind his back and wrapped tape around his head, covering his nose and mouth.

The statement — made in the course of a pointing out to police by Wiseman Vusumusi Ndlovu (29) — was yesterday ruled by Judge Isaac Madondo to have been made freely and voluntarily.

The judge also admitted as evidence the admissions made by Ndlovu’s co-accused, Sphelele Peter Ngubo (28).

Ngubo too told police that “Vuzi” wrapped tape around the victim’s mouth “so that he would not make a noise”.

Ndlovu and Ngubo, who both gave evidence in their defence yesterday, continued to deny any knowledge or involvement in Truter’s murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Ndlovu maintained that he “could not remember” pointing out the crime scene to police, and Ngubo insisted that he was “told what to say” by police when they conducted a pointing out.

According to Ngubo’s statements to the police, he and two others, “Vuzi and Sihle”, went to the hotel to rob the manager. They opened the hotel’s security gate “with a plastic disc” they had obtained from Vuzi’s (Ndlovu’s) brother “Snothi”, who worked at the hotel.

They went to Truter’s room on the first floor.

“Sihle knocked on the door and when the deceased answered, Sihle told him that he had a problem with electricity in one of the rooms. The deceased then opened the door and then I grabbed him and pushed him back into the room onto the bed. He then fell on the floor and while on the floor Sihle and Vuzi tied his legs together and his hands behind his back with cellotape that we had brought with. Vuzi wrapped the cellotape around the deceased’s mouth so that he would not make a noise,” Ngubo said.

He said he and Vuzi left Sihle with Truter while they went to an office where the safe was. Ngubo opened the safe with the safe keys they had found on a dressing table. “We took all the money, which was about R28 000 and I also took a camera,” said Ngubo.

He said that when they left the hotel, Truter was still alive. At a house in Bisley that night they had “a few drinks” and shared the money between them.

Ngubo said he spent his share on clothes.

Wiseman Ndlovu’s version to police is similar, although he stated that they took about R33 000. Each of them had received R7 500, he said.

The case is proceeding.

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