3 deny killing pensioner

2012-10-23 19:45

Pretoria - A security guard and two other men have denied killing an elderly German pensioner in her home at a security complex east of Pretoria two years ago.

Security guard Amos Foromane Mokgabudi, Frans Madiba and Bashimane Brian Mathebe entered not guilty pleas in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

They are accused of murdering Ute Maria Wiing, 70, in her home in the Silver Mist complex, Equestria, in May 2010.

The three also denied robbing Wiing of, among other things, computer equipment, a car, jewellery and linen.

The State alleges they gained entry to Wiing's home through a window, overpowered her in a bedroom, and tied her hands and feet and covered her mouth with clothing before ransacking her house.

A post mortem report found that she had died as a result of being strangled or smothered.

Wiing's daughter Sandra Hinsche testified that she last saw her mother alive the night before her death, when she and her two sons had dinner at her mother's house.

One of her sons had remained behind, and she went to fetch him at 22:30.

She tried to call her mother the next day, but there was no answer, so she drove there and, finding her mother's car gone, assumed she had gone to visit friends.

Hinsche went home, but returned with her son, who wanted to use his grandmother's printer for a project.

She used her spare key and at first did not realise anything was wrong even though she saw her mother's television and three wine bottles on the floor.

In the kitchen, she saw the freezer door was open and that the previous night's food was still on the counter.

When they went upstairs, her son said something did not look right.

They found the house in a mess.

The computer nook upstairs had been ripped apart and everything else was a mess, with things thrown out of cupboards and her mother's car keys lying on a chest of drawers.

In the bedroom she saw her mother lying between clothes on the floor.

Her hands and feet had been tied together with a rope and something had been stuck in her mouth.

Her face was black and blue, her hands were blue and her body was cold.

Hinsche said her mother's attackers had apparently gained entry to the house by climbing onto the balcony and entering through a spare room.

The police later returned to her some of the stolen goods, including her mother's car.

Mathebe, who was allegedly caught driving Wiing's car, also pleaded not guilty to being in the illegal possession of the car.

The trial continues.

- SAPA

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