Mohideen accused stays silent in court

2016-05-11 11:00
Murder accused (from left) Jibraeel Mohideen, Emily Mchunu, Joshua Nxumalo and Zandisile Mtshali in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Murder accused (from left) Jibraeel Mohideen, Emily Mchunu, Joshua Nxumalo and Zandisile Mtshali in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Domestic worker and traditional healer Emily Mchunu (52) elected to remain silent in court on Tuesday about the events of the day her employer Ashraf Mohideen (57) was murdered in his Scottsville home.

Mohideen was found lying in a pool of blood, his throat slit, in the bathroom of his house in James Niven Road on February 25.

Mchunu, who is one of four people — including Mohideen’s son — who are charged with the murder, is applying for bail in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

She said she intends to plead not guilty.

As she continued to testify in support of her bail application yesterday Mchunu heeded the advice of her defence advocate, Sogoyile Nene and warnings by magistrate, M. Boikhutso, that she was not obliged to reply to questions concerning the merits of the case against her.

On several occasions while under cross examination concerning what had happened on the day of the murder, Mchunu replied, “I don’t know … I don’t wish to comment about that.” It was put to her that she was “painted as the mastermind” behind Mohideen’s murder in the confessions made by Mohideen’s son, Jibraeel, and hired killer Zandisile Mtshali, who both pleaded guilty in the high court. But Mchunu said she would not comment on this.

Asked why Jibraeel and Mtshali would fabricate evidence against her Mchunu responded, “I do not wish to answer that”.

She testified that she does not know Mtshali and repeated her earlier evidence that she also does not know Joshua Nxumalo —– the man standing trial with her.

This was despite the fact that she and Nxumalo allegedly live in the same area in Willowfountain.

The state alleges that Nxumalo is her boyfriend and that she approached him to procure the killers at Jibraeel’s request.

Investigating officer Sergeant Sandile Magubane said in an affidavit that it is alleged that Mchunu allowed Nxumalo and Mtshali into the house where they lay in wait for Mohideen. When he arrived, they hit him with a hammer, stabbed him and slit his throat.

During her evidence Mchunu said she had worked for Ashraf Mohideen for about five years before his murder but said she had “no knowledge” about his relationship with his son, Jibraeel who admitted planning his murder.

Asked about her relationship with Jibraeel she replied that “there was no relationship”.

“We never sat down and had a conversation because most of the time he was at work … We would just greet in the morning and that was all,” she said.

Mchunu said she wants to be released on bail because she is the sole breadwinner for her family and suffers from ill health.

Under cross examination she admitted that her three children are all adults and that her husband was also “physically capable” of holding down a job.

However, she told the court that none of them are employed as they could not find work. The magistrate adjourned the case to May 23 for judgment in the bail application.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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