Lover dead before being burnt, court hears
Pietermaritzburg - The lover of murder accused Gerald Rossolloty was dead before her body was burned, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard on Monday.
District surgeon Dr Danraj Maney said no soot was found in the trachea of Nokwazi Ntuli when he carried out a post mortem in April 2010.
Even when unconscious, people breathe in soot if they are in a fire situation, said Maney.
Rossolloty is accused of assaulting Ntuli until she lost consciousness, and of taking her to a remote spot near Hilton College road and setting her alight.
Ntuli had broken ribs, internal chest and heart injuries, and forehead injuries. Maney said the cause of her death was not stated and that she could have died of injuries caused by blunt force. Asphyxia could also be considered.
The court heard there was evidence that pressure had been applied to her neck which could have been caused by strangulation.
She was small and slender and probably weighed about 57kg, said Maney.
Greytown police constable Bonginkosi Dlamini said Ntuli was to be a witness in a murder case. As a result of threats made to her, he considered putting her in the witness protection programme.
He spoke to her about it but she asked not to be under witness protection because she was living with her lover.
SA Police Service forensic investigator Captain Thinus Bekker said a fire at Rossolloty's residence on the same day was started deliberately.
Investigations showed that Ntuli was taken from the building before the fire.
The trial continues.