Murder accused flips story

2013-05-24 00:00

A WOMAN charged with murdering a work colleague by throwing acid on to her in January allegedly told her attorney she had “only wanted to hurt but not kill” her, but she changed her version when she appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court yesterday.

When asked to confirm the explanation given to court on her behalf by her lawyer yesterday, Ntombenhle Mkhize (33), of KwaPata, said she “totally disagrees” that she had gone to town and poured acid over the victim, Smangele Precious Mlaba.

As a result of her apparent change of heart, the case ground to a halt shortly after it began.

Legal aid lawyer Jameel Vorajee told regional magistrate Riaan de Wet that what Mkhize had just told the court contradicted the instructions she gave him during consultations and he could therefore no longer represent her.

De Wet granted him leave to withdraw as Mkhize’s attorney.

Mkhize said she wanted to apply for another legal aid lawyer and the case was postponed until today so the necessary arrangements could be made.

Explaining Mkhize’s alleged version to the court earlier yesterday, Vorajee said that according to his instructions, Mkhize and Mlaba had been employed together.

On the Friday before the incident they had had “problems” at work as a result of which Mkhize was fired from her job. The following Monday Mkhize was in town shopping for groceries when she came across Mlaba.

“The accused had half-a-litre of acid which she had obtained from factories near the area where she resided. When she saw [Mlaba] she wanted to injure her. She took the acid she had in her possession and threw it onto the deceased.”

Vorajee said Mkhize had told him she merely wanted to “get back” at Mlaba for causing her to lose her job and she had not wanted to kill her.


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