Healer guilty of wife’s murder

2012-10-11 00:00

WELL-KNOWN Mtunzini traditional healer Nkosinathi Gumede (52) and his bodyguard, Isaac Buthelezi (40), were convicted in Pietermarizburg’s high court yesterday of the premeditated murder of Gumede’s wife, Lindiwe, on July 31, 2007.

They were acquitted on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Judge Fikile Mokgohloa will pass sentence on the two men on February 18 next year.

State advocate Irene Neyt urged the court to sentence both accused to life imprisonment for the “cold-blooded murder”, which she said had been well-planned.

According to the state’s indictment, Gumede had suspected his wife of having an affair and decided to kill her. He enlisted the assistance of Buthelezi and two other men.

On the day in question he arranged to meet his wife; she was forced into a motor vehicle by the assailants and driven to a secluded location where she was strangled and shot in the mouth. Her body was dumped in a sugar cane plantation.

Advocate Gareth Leppan, who appeared for Gumede, said he is married with five children between the ages of two and 32 years, all of whom he supports and in respect of whom he pays school and university fees.

Gumede further financially supports numerous other members of his extended family, as well as several disadvantaged members of his community.

Leppan said: “He is self-employed as a traditional healer or herbalist for the past 20 years. He has 49 employees who are dependent on him.”

Gumede was also a pastor in the Apostolic Church at Mtunzini to which he contributed financially.

Regarding Buthelezi’s involvement in the murder, Leppan said on the state’s case he had been given an instruction by Gumede to carry out and must have been under great pressure to comply. Had he not done so he could have lost his job.

Neyt, however, said neither of the accused had taken the court into their confidence or shown any remorse for their deed.

The murder had been well-planned by Gumede and carried out in cahoots with Buthelezi and his other bodyguards.

Neyt said the court also had to take into account the circumstances of the victim, who in this case was a 47-year-old mother of two children. She was a qualified fashion designer who had tailor-made suits for the accused and his bodyguards.

She was active in the same church as the accused and she too had been loved by her community.

“Her family was devastated by her death,” she said.

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