Twist in Govender hijack

2012-05-14 00:00

DETAILS of circumstantial evidence against hijack and murder accused Sihle Nzimande (29) were revealed during his three-hour bail application in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Warrant Officer Yugen Moodley, who is investigating the hijack and murder of Soomeshan Govender (26), took the witness stand. Govender was murdered in the early hours of Sunday, March 25 in Park Rynie.

Moodley said: “There is a possibility that there was a female in the car with deceased when he was hijacked.”

Moodley also said that there was circumstantial evidence placing Nzimande in the vehicle. “We have circumstantial evidence with people placing the accused in the vehicle of the deceased on the day in question.”

Moodley testified that after dining at a restaurant in Scottburgh, Govender had dropped off a friend and was driving at about 1 am on Sunday, March 25 towards the Halfway Toyota garage in Park Rynie.

He stopped at some stage and was allegedly confronted by Nzimande who bundled him into the back of the car and drove off in it. With Nzimande still allegedly at the wheel, the car turned north off the R612 on to the N2.

He is alleged to have stopped and repeatedly stabbed Govender, before throwing him out on to the N2 freeway where his body was found. “A number of vehicles, including articulated trucks, must have driven over the body, which was severely lacerated and crushed,” Moodley added.

The car was then driven away and, at some stage, Nzimande is alleged to have handed over the car to accused number one, John Phineas Vezi (42). Vezi was arrested in the car later that morning in Isipingo. Vezi abandoned his application for bail in an earlier court appearance.

The defence argued that the case against Nzimande was purely circumstantial. Moodley urged the magistrate to deny bail to the accused. “Our case against the accused is strong enough for a conviction,” he said. Moodley added that forensic evidence from fingerprinting, cellphone records, surveillance cameras and the postmortem was not yet available.

Moodley also refuted the accused’s claims that he was possessed by spirits that caused him to have convulsions in prison. “The prison wardens have no record of any medical problems or epilepsy suffered by the accused while in custody,” he said.

Nzimande remained impassive throughout the court proceedings. The matter was adjourned to May, 17.

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