Zondi trial: 'Boyfriend advised me not to tell'

2011-02-08 00:00

A 24-YEAR-OLD woman, among five accused on trial for the 2009 murder of retired Pietermaritzburg academic Professor Samuel Zondi (71), said yesterday her co-accused “argued” over whether the professor was dead or unconscious after they were returning from his flat.

Jabulile Ngcobo, along with all her co-accused, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Ngcobo told Acting Judge Jerome Ngwenya yesterday she wan­ted to tell police what she knew after the incident, but her boyfriend advised her not to because she was dealing with “thugs” and would be killed.

She testified she did not know what was to happen at Zondi’s flat when she accompanied acquaintances Gugu Ndlovu, Sakhile Hlongwa, Mwandile Zwane, Mondli Cele and another man, Simphiwe Gwala, there on February 17, 2009.

Ngcobo said she met Gugu Ndlovu three days earlier and moved into a room next door to her.

She said Ndlovu enlisted her aid by getting her to call Zondi on the a pretext that she wanted him to take photographs at a church ceremony.

She initially refused, but eventually agreed at Ndlovu’s insistence.

After they gained entry to his flat some of the men grabbed Zondi and pressed him down on a bed.

He cried out, but they smothered his cries and turned up the radio playing in the room.

Ngcobo said she was shocked and frightened and left the room.

Ndlovu asked her where she was going and told her to “stop right there”.

Ngcobo later accompanied Ndlovu and the others to the Golden Horse Casino where they attemp­ted to use Zondi’s bank cards.

Ndlovu had said that although the cards were working, they needed Zondi’s identity document.

Ngcobo said she repeatedly told Ndlovu she wanted to go home to her flat, but Ndlovu would not let her.

Later that night Ndlovu, Zwane, Hlongwa and Cele left to go back to Zondi’s flat.

Upon their return they argued over whether Zondi was unconscious or dead. Ndlovu said she had touched Zondi, but was not sure if he was alive. She could not feel a pulse, said Ngcobo.

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