Zondi: murder accused wants to apologise

2009-03-05 00:00

One of two women appearing in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court in connection with the murder and robbery of Professor Samuel Zondi (71) last month said yesterday she wishes to apologise to Zondi’s family.

Jabulile Hilda Ngcobo (24) said this during her brief appearance before magistrate Ashin Singh along with her four co-accused, Gugu Pretty Ndlovu (34), Sakhile Bongani Hlongwa (20), Mzwandile Zwane (20) and Mondli Mervin Cele (22).

Singh told Ngcobo it was “not the time nor the place” for an apology.

None of the five accused has so far pleaded to the charges facing them, although Gugu Ndlovu indicated her intention earlier in the week to plead guilty only to robbery arising from the attack on Zondi.

On Wednesday, Ngcobo, Zwane and Cele made statements to different magistrates in chambers and Hlongwa was expected to make a statement yesterday afternoon.

The contents of these statements remain confidential until they become part of the court proceedings and are placed before the trial court.

All five accused were again remanded in custody yesterday pending final arrangements for legal aid representation. The case was adjourned to March 19.

Yesterday’s appearance by the accused again attracted a large crowd of spectators, who packed the public gallery. They hoped to hear details of the accused’s confessions after the court was told on Wednesday that these would be presented yesterday.

Zondi, a retired professor of commerce at Natal Technikon and part-time lecturer at the University of KZN, is believed to have been murdered around February 16.

His tortured and burned remains were found at Moyra Mansions in Alexandra Road by family members on Friday, February 20.

His mouth was reportedly gagged and his hands had been tied behind his back. Some furniture in his flat had been set alight.

The accused have been charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and two counts of fraud relating to the use of Zondi’s credit card. It is alleged that between February 16 and 20 R4 340 was spent at a shoe store, Spitz, and R215 at Milky Lane.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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