Accused ‘loved her husband’

2013-12-05 00:00

MURDER accused Thenjiwe Griffiths (31) cried yesterday when asked to explain why her late husband, Allan (60), allegedly “said terrible things” about her if they were as happily married as she claimed they were.

The court has heard that Allan Griffiths allegedly told his lawyer, Connie Marais, in June 2005 that he’d made a mistake marrying Griffiths and wanted to divorce her, that he’d met her when she worked as a prostitute at a Richards Bay club and had paid R1 300 per night for her; that after their marriage she’d locked him in his house without transport, keys or money, allowed other people to stay with them against his will, spent his money, and physically abused him.

Allan’s sister, Carolyn Riddle of Durban, testified that her brother made a desperate call to her asking for help in June 2005. On June 6 she’d found him in poor health, alone at home without food, and no car, wallet or money and no identity document because his wife had allegedly taken them with her to Gauteng.

Riddle had taken him to see his attorney, and helped him make a statement at the magistrate’s court and write out a new will.

In November that year his family filed a missing persons report with the police as they were unable to locate him.

Griffiths has pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband in a staged hijacking on January 20, 2006.

The aspiring model told Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors that although her late husband was 35 years older than her and a serious alcoholic from the day she’d met him, aged 25, she had fallen in love with him.

She began living with him in Richards Bay in January 2005, married him in April 2005 and they were happy together until he died.

She wept yesterday under cross examination by state advocate Dorian Paver, when questioned about what her late husband allegedly told his lawyer and sister about her. “I am not aware of that,” Griffiths said.

She said Allan never indicated to her that he “didn’t like” her or that he wanted to divorce her.

She said she found it hard to believe that her late husband would have paid lobola “for a prostitute”.

Griffiths said her husband had wanted to “get away” from his family who “interfered with his affairs” and this was why they moved to Johannesburg. She alleged that Riddle had “hated” her, called her a “k.....r” and accused her of kidnapping her brother when they spoke on the phone.

She denied that she had threatened Riddle over the telephone by telling her she “knows where she lives” and what car she drives, and said it was in fact Riddle who threatened her.

“She would even say when she finds me she will do something painful to me,” she alleged.

Griffiths has testified that she and her husband were hijacked by three men near Colenso whilst driving from Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg. His body was later found in long grass in the area.

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