Rosselloty fires his lawyer

2012-04-03 00:00

IN a dramatic twist, murder and rape accused Gerald Rosselloty fired his attorney at the eleventh hour yesterday, elected to defend himself and was given leave to call six further witnesses in his defence.

Judge Rishi Seegobin, sitting with assessors, granted Rosselloty leave to call the witnesses he desires “in the interests of justice”, even though he said Rosselloty had not shown the evidence was relevant.

Some of them have testified previously, but Rosselloty claimed that certain questions had not been put to them. Among the new witnesses he wishes to call are his adoptive mother, Brenda Rosselloty, his girlfriend and the mother of his child, and his former employee, Lucky Ngcobo, whom he has implicated in the murder of his lover, Nokwazi Ntuli, at Hilton on April 17,2010.

He also wants to call two policemen who were involved in the investigation of his alleged rape of a six-year-old girl in 2006, as well as his former neighbour, Peter Winn.

Winn gave evidence concerning the times when the computerised gate control system at their complex had recorded Rosselloty entering or leaving on the night of Ntuli’s murder.

Rosselloty alleged yesterday that his girlfriend told him she’d been “scared off” testifying when his lawyer told her Ntuli was “beaten till her heart exploded”.

He said he wanted his girlfriend to testify about his “state of mind” on the day that Ntuli was killed and the girlfriend gave birth to his son in hospital, and about his plans to go to the Mighty Men conference in Greytown that day.

He also alleged his girlfriend would confirm having received a call in hospital that day from Lucky Ngcobo, who had said he was planning to visit Rosselloty.

Rosselloty’s legal aid attorney, Chetna Singh, was given leave to withdraw from the case.

State advocate Dorian Paver submitted that Rosselloty’s desire to call the witnesses in question was a delaying tactic and urged the court to refuse the application.

“I submit the accused has suddenly seen where the shoe pinches and he seeks to delay the proceedings,” he said.

He said Rosselloty had been fully defended throughout the trial and had personally confirmed when the defence case was closed that he did not want to call more witnesses.

“Please … it’s my life on the line,” Rosselloty pleaded with the court.

Rosselloty has denied that he raped a six-year-old child while she was in his care at his complex in Hilton in September 2006.

He testified the child had falsely identified him as her attacker and he believes she was “schooled” by her mother who wanted to get revenge on him for jilting her.

Rosselloty also testified he knew nothing about the murder of Ntuli, who was his lover and whose charred remains were found on a mattress in the veld in Hilton early on April 17.2010.

The doctor who performed a post-mortem on the body found she had suffered severe internal bruising of her chest and heart, fractured ribs and other injuries consistent with being strangled, and was not alive when she was burned, the court heard.

Rosselloty told the court he was aware that Lucky Ngcobo had assaulted Ntuli earlier that night while the three of them were drinking together to celebrate the birth of his son, but said she was alive when he went to bed.

The next thing he recalled was waking up in his bakkie, which was parked in Acutt Road in Hilton, and being told his flat was on fire.

He did not know how he got there.

Rosselloty is in custody.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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