Teen: ‘I murdered for car’

2009-07-21 00:00

A SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD matric pupil pleaded guilty in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to participating in the hijacking, kidnapping and murder of teacher Arnold Thenjwayo at Dambuza on July 3.

The youth, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, was found guilty by Judge Piet Koen, but was not sentenced immediately as the court requires a probation officer’s report because of his age.

On hearing that the case was going to be postponed to October 12, the youngster asked the court for bail, but this was denied.

The youth said in a statement read to the court that he was drinking with friends in a car outside Phumelot Tavern in Edendale on July 3 when Thenjwayo arrived in his white Toyota Tazz and started to chat with a woman.

“Sne, Lesley and I agreed that the deceased’s Tazz was a nice car and Lesley said we should take this car, by which I understood him to mean that we should hijack the deceased.”

He said he pretended to admire the Tazz to see if the keys were in the ignition. When Thenjwayo saw him walking round the Tazz, he invited him to listen to his sound system.

The youth said that at his friend’s suggestion, he persuaded Thenjwayo to take him for a drive and then asked him to stop so that he could “shout” to his girlfriend. When they stopped, he whistled and “Lesley came running with an Okapi knife”.

He said they drove to a nearby “ground”. There Lesley pulled Thenjwayo out of the car and stabbed him in the chest. The teacher tried to run away when Lesley slipped. The youth caught him and they forced him into the boot.

They all got into the Tazz and drove off. After picking up some other people, they drove towards Dambuza.

It was agreed en route that they should kill Thenjwayo because he could identify them.

“Sne drove to a secluded area in Dambuza where he brought the Tazz to a halt. Lesley and I alighted from the Tazz and I pulled the deceased out of the boot. I then tripped the deceased so that he fell to the ground facing upwards and, thereafter, Lesley stabbed him several times in the vicinity of his neck and chest.”

A postmortem report shows that Thenjwayo suffered multiple stab wounds and other injuries.

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