Priest's killers' trial continues

2012-02-23 10:22
Johannesburg - The trial of four young Diepsloot men accused of murdering a priest during a robbery continues in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Kgaugelo Manzini, Thembalethu Sindane, Freddy Mahlangu and Jabu Ndebele admitted on Wednesday to planning a robbery at the presbytery where Father Louis Blondel was killed, but denied complicity in his murder.

This emerged when the State handed in statements the four accused made to police while pointing out the scene in Diepsloot, a township north of Johannesburg, where Blondel was murdered in December 2009.

The four accused, all aged between 18 and 22, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery. All four admitted to police that they and a fifth accomplice, Nelson Malope, had jumped over a wall at the presbytery.

Malope and Sindane gained entry into the house through a window before opening the door for the others. Malope was last year sentenced to 18 years imprisonment after admitting he had murdered and robbed Blondel.

The four accused told police they were not present when Malope shot the 70-year-old priest.

Ndebele said in his statement Malope had told him he had shot the white man because he wanted to press a panic button. He said they had decided to rob the presbytery because they wanted the money people gave to the church on Sundays. They were also looking for valuables to steal.

Ndebele told police they had only taken the firearm along so they could point it at the occupants.

Manzini said in his statement he had heard a gunshot while he waited outside for the others, and was handed a computer when the other four rushed outside.

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