A ‘friend with benefits’ testifies

2012-11-28 00:00

JUST “friends with benefits” was how the mother of Gerald Rosselloty’s son described their relationship prior to his arrest on murder and rape charges in 2010.

Testifying in open court before Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors, Jogayle Wahl said that since Rosselloty’s imprisonment they had become more than friends and she now describes herself as his girlfriend.

Asked if she had plans to become his wife, she said they could not plan a future because he’s in prison, but admitted she would like to marry him because it was in the best interests of their child.

She told the court that Rosselloty had asked her to testify on his behalf and to “tell the truth”.

Wahl insisted she was “not a jealous person” and never gave Rosselloty any ultimatums concerning his relationship with murder victim, Nokwazi Ntuli — who was allegedly killed by Rosselloty the night on which Wahl gave birth to Rosselloty’s child in Grey’s hospital.

“I forgave Gerald,” she repeatedly told the court.

“I wouldn’t wish death on anyone,” she exclaimed at one stage when she was being questioned by state advocate, Dorian Paver, who suggested that Ntuli became a “thorn” in Rosselloty’s flesh and that her death was convenient.

Wahl admitted that she was “upset” about Rosselloty’s affair with Ntuli during the time that she was pregnant, but said she’d been under the impression the relationship had ended by the time their son was born.

When Rosselloty left her at the hospital after the birth, he said he was going to the Mighty Men conference he attended annually. She had no idea he was returning to his simplex in Hilton to “sit drinking” with Ntuli.

She agreed with Paver that Rosselloty lied to her and concealed the fact that he was still seeing Ntuli, but couldn’t think why he did so.

Rosselloty is charged with assaulting and strangling Ntuli at his home in Callanish Gardens, Hilton, on the night of April 16, 2010, loading her body onto his bakkie, dumping it at a secluded spot on a mattress, and setting fire to it. He then allegedly set fire to his flat to cover up the murder.

Rosselloty has denied this, and claimed in evidence that a former employee, Lucky Ngcobo (who has since died), had assaulted Ntuli while the three of them were drinking together to celebrate the birth of his son that night.

According to him, Ntuli was alive when he went to bed. He next recalled waking up in his bakkie parked in Acutt Road in Hilton, and receiving a message that his flat was on fire.

In her evidence yesterday, Wahl confirmed that on the day their baby was born, Lucky Ngcobo had phoned her at the hospital to congratulate her.

“He said he was going to visit Gerald … I told him Gerald is going to Mighty Men and I said to him, please don’t drink and don’t fight,” she said.

Wahl also told the court that she had never told police that Rosselloty had asked her to tell her friend Candice to “stick to her story”, as is recorded in her police statement.

“I don’t know why that’s in my statement. It never happened,” she said yesterday.

Asked by Paver why she didn’t testify earlier in the case, Wahl replied that she had been “intimidated” by Rosselloty’s lawyer and threatened with arrest by Paver for talking to state witnesses. The witnesses she had been speaking to at the time were her good friends, Brett Evans and Candice Hickinbotham, she said.

The case is proceeding.

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