Former Blue Bulls' judgment under way

2014-09-23 16:26
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Durban - Former Blue Bull's player Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana's judgment on murder and rape charges began on Tuesday with criticism of the police and prosecution.

Acting Judge Irfaan Khalil said that before the task team was formed to investigate three gruesome murders, which included the beheading of one man, police already had Ntshongwana's details, including the registration number of the car he had used.

These had been provided by an assault victim and the woman Ntshongwana allegedly kidnapped in central Durban.

He allegedly held the woman captive in his Yellowwood Park, Durban, home from 28 November to 1 December 2010.

She escaped and reported the incident to police.

"The perpetrator's details were known to police as early as December 2010. It is not clear why the accused was not prosecuted earlier. It is a serious indictment of police and prosecutorial services," said Khalil.

He noted that within five days of the task team being formed, Ntshongwana had been arrested and was being questioned by police.

Ntshongwana faces four charges of murder, two of attempted murder, one of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, one of kidnapping, and one of rape.

He allegedly 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, with one of the victims being beheaded.

Apart from the alleged rape and kidnapping of the woman, he is also charged with attempted murder for the attacks on two men. One of these took place in Umlazi on 21 March 2011, and the other in Lamontville on 23 March.

Rape reported

Cebekhulu's murder took place almost four months after the woman reported the rape. Two days before the rape a man opened a case of assault against Ntshongwana after he allegedly attacked him as he was walking home in Yellowwood Park.

During closing argument on Monday, 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 further contended that the State psychiatrists had 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.

Khalil said on Tuesday: "Presumably because of the claim of amnesia, the evidence given by the State related to the events went largely unchallenged."

Khalil is expected to finish handing down his judgement on Thursday.

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  phindile joseph ntshongwana  |  durban  |  crime

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