Voodoo, murder and infidelity

2011-07-30 18:16

A voodoo doll, a murder plot and an unfaithful husband.

These were the details that came to light in a murder trial heard in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein.

Caroline Mokgothu – standing trial with husband James for the murder of Naledi mayor Motlatsi Motloi – testified that she had been bewitched by a voodoo doll.

She said after a burglary in her office there was a foul smell and an investigation led to the discovery of the handmade doll, dressed in a black dress and smeared with liver or meat.

She said it had sticks and three needles stuck into its body.

She said after the discovery of the doll she began suffering from chronic headaches and nightmares that made her cry out so loudly that James – who slept in ­another room – could hear her.

James had been banished to another room because he had been unfaithful and they could not reconcile, she said.

She denied an allegation by the prosecutor, advocate Amanda Bester, that her husband had helped her with the plot to kill the mayor because he thought it would save their marriage.

The couple is facing a charge of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit a crime, following Motloi’s death.

Motloi, who was the ANC ­mayor of Naledi municipality, which includes towns such as Wepener, Van Stadensrus and Dewetsdorp, was shot dead on May 3 last year in front of his house in Wepener, Free State.

Convicted assassin Senowe Khaka, a Lesotho resident, is serving 21 years for the murder.

He testified that a former employee of the Naledi municipality, Sabata Potele, who turned state witness, had introduced him to Caroline.

Caroline said she had been ­Potele’s supervisor and they had enjoyed a good relationship, which was why she could not ­understand why he had lied by corroborating the claim that he had introduced Khaka to her.

She also testified that she had had a good relationship with the former mayor.

But she admitted she had sometimes had problems with instructions he gave her and she would not always do everything he told her to do.

She said she did not know why members of the community had demonstrated at the municipal offices the day after his death or why they wanted to see her.

She said she had to escape through her office window that day and did not attend the mayor’s ­funeral because she felt unsafe.

She denied that the mayor had accused her of ­embezzling R1.2?million.

The accused have denied all charges.

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