Ex-Blue Bulls player did kill and rape, judge rules

2014-09-25 12:22

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Durban - Former Blue Bulls player Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana did kill four people with an axe, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court ruled on Thursday.

However, Acting Judge Irfaan Khalil still had to rule on whether he was criminally responsible.

He was charged with four counts of murder, two of attempted murder, one of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, one of kidnapping, and one of rape.

Beyond reasonable doubt

"The identity of the accused in counts one to nine has been overwhelmingly established beyond a reasonable doubt," Khalil said.

He would rule later on Thursday whether Ntshongwana was criminally responsible.

The former rugby player killed Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu in Montclair on 20 March 2011, Paulos Hlongwa two days later, Simon Ngidi the following day, and an unidentified man sometime that week.

All were hacked to death with an axe. Two of the victims were beheaded.

He also raped and kidnapped a woman.

He was charged with attempted murder for attacking two men, one in Umlazi on 21 March 2011, and the other in Lamontville on 23 March.

Closing arguments

During closing arguments earlier this week, Ntshongwana's lawyer, Themba Mjoli, argued that at the time of the crimes his client suffered from a mental illness and had no control over his actions.

It could not be conclusively proven that he intended to commit the offences, Mjoli said. He contended that State psychiatrists colluded with police in a bid to secure a conviction.

Prosecutor Rea Mina denied this and argued that although he might have had a mental illness, it did not prevent him from knowing what he was doing was wrong.

Ntshongwana has claimed he had no recollection of any of the events. He never testified during the trial.

A small group of African National Congress supporters protested outside the court.

The judgment continues.

Read more on:    phindile joseph ntshongwana  |  durban  |  crime

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