I lied about murder to protect my wife’s dignity – Alton Mphethi

2015-03-19 15:11

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Former Pan Africanist Congress president, Alton Mphethi, has admitted that he lied about the murder of a Swazi national at his house in order to protect his wife’s dignity.

According to the charge sheet, Mphethi was at a business meeting in Mbombela, when he decided not to stay over, but to drive back home to Ermelo.

He arrived at his Ermelo home in the early hours of the morning of January 14 and found his wife, Violet Malinga-Mphethi, with a strange man.

Malinga-Mphethi fled to a friend’s house.

Mphethi contacted Solomon Matsimela, Ntwampe Thankgwe and younger brother Lazarus Mphethi. They went to his house and allegedly assaulted the man, Mthunzi Mavundla, until he died.

Malinga-Mphethi, who had slept over at a friend’s place, had gone to Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) the next morning. She returned to Ermelo a few days later and opened a false case of rape against Mavundla at Ermelo Police Station.

Mphethi, Malinga-Mphethi, Matsimela, Ntwampe and Lazarus Mphethi are appearing before the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Ermelo for Mavundla’s murder. They also face obstruction of justice charges.

The politician cum businessman today told Judge Andre Louw that he told his family members that Mavundla had broken into the house that he shared with Malinga-Mphethi.

He said he had placed a PlayStation and a TV in the bedroom to make them believe those were the items he was stealing.

“I wanted to protect my wife’s dignity. My younger brother [Lazarus] asked me what happened and I avoided his question because this thing was a shame to me,” said Mphethi.

Mphethi said he did not know Mavundla’s real name even though they had spent about two hours talking in the bedroom where he found him.

Mavundla had told him his name was Mandla Ndlangamandla, he said, and he found out his real name after police found a passport in his pocket when he was already dead.

Testifying today, Mphethi said while Lazarus and his late friend, known as Saddam, were arriving at his house and walking to a bedroom, Mavundla hit him with a chair and then used it to break a window.

“I tried to grab him by the legs as he was escaping through the window. My brother and his friend followed him through the window and I went to the bathroom to wash blood from my hands as I was bleeding profusely,” he said.

Mphethi said he heard a noise from many people outside his house shouting “stop him” in isiZulu and seSotho and when he went out the stranger was “already finished” – meaning he was dead.

“I told those people that the man lying on the ground had been stealing in my house to protect my wife’s dignity,” he said.

He also gave a false statement to police.

“The police were fighting [with] me and threatening to lock me up, so I decided to tell them the person came to steal,” said Mphethi.

The trial continues.

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