‘Lover plotted prof’s murder’

2009-05-26 00:00

A PROVISIONAL indictment served on the five alleged killers and robbers of retired Pietermaritzburg academic Professor Samuel Zondi (71) alleges that the robbery plan was masterminded by a woman with whom he’d had a secret relationship.

The woman, Gugu Njabulo Ndlovu (34) of Pietermaritzburg, is one of the accused who are expected to stand trial in the high court on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and fraud arising from Zondi’s death on February 17 at his flat in Moyra Mansions in Alexandra Road.

The State alleges that the attackers bound and gagged Zondi, smothered him to death with a pillow and set his room alight.

His partly decomposed and burnt body was discovered three days later on February 20.

Between February 17 and 19, his killers allegedly used his credit and bank debit cards in Durban and Pietermaritzburg to make fraudulent purchases to the value of R10 920.

The purchases allegedly included jewellery to the value of R4 290 from Natal Wholesale Jewellers, clothing worth R4 340 from Spitz, groceries worth R1 455 from Checkers, two roast chickens from Galitos,a R395 rug from Gauteng Linen and food from Nevada Spur.

The five accused were yesterday due to apply for bail before magistrate, Paul van Dongen in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court.

However, their bail application — which is being opposed by the prosecution — was postponed until July 21 due to the unavailability of a legal representative of one of the accused.

Although a high court trial date has not yet been decided on, the five accused were all served with a draft indictment detailing the allegations against them.

The indictment indicates that they will face a charge of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and six counts of fraud.

It is alleged that some time prior the incident, Zondi and Ndlovu had a secret love relationship, during which she visited him at his flat. She also learned about his interest in photography and noticed his expensive electronic equipment.

About a week before the murder, Ndlovu allegedly decided to rob Zondi of his bank cards and valuables and secured the services of her fellow accused and a sixth person, Simphiwe Gwala, to assist her.

On February 17, Jabulile Ngcobo allegedly phoned Zondi posing as a client interested in the use of his services as a photographer and arranged to meet him at his flat that evening.

Ngcobo and Hlongwa were allegedly invited into the flat by Zondi on their arrival, with the others gaining entry later. Zondi was allegedly overpowered, forced down on his bed and gagged. His hands and feet were tied and his face was covered with a cloth.

The flat was then ransacked in search of Zondi’s bank cards and other goods. The indictment alleges that he was robbed of two laptop computers, a video camera, a digital camera, two Nokia cellphones and bank cards.

Before they left, the robbers allegedly smothered Zondi to death with a pillow and set fire to his room.

ingrido@witness.co.za

Gugu Njabulo Ndlovu (34) and Jabulile Hilda Ngcobo (24) of Pietermaritzburg, and Sakhile Bongani Hlongwa (20), Mzwandile Persevere Zwane (20) and Mondli Marvin Cele (22) all of Hammarsdale.

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