‘Job now, cash later plan led to killing’

2011-01-25 00:00

SPEAKING at the trial of two women and three men accused of the murder and robbery of Professor Samuel Zondi (71) Simphiwe Gwala of Hammarsdale said yesterday that the plan was to tie him up and steal his bank cards, not to murder him.

Police found Zondi’s body, his wrists and ankles bound and his mouth gagged, in his burned-out flat three days after he was smothered to death on September 17, 2009.

Galwa told the high court in Pietermaritzburg he was asked by one accused, Gugu Ndlovu, (35) — who was said to have had a relationship with Zondi — to get some men to tie up the professor and take his cards.

There was no talk about rewards for them at the time, as Ndlovu said that they would “talk money” later.

Gwala said he recruited Sakhile Hlongwa (20), Mzwandile Zwane (20) and Mondli Cele (22), all of Hammarsdale, to “do the job”. A ruse to get into Zondi’s flat was for accused Jabulile Ngcobo (24) to pretend that she wanted him to take photographs at a function, Gwala said. He agreed to do so.

According to the indictment Zondi met Ngcobo and Hlongwa at the door of his flat and invited them in. Accused Zwane and Cele hurried in and the three men overpowered Zondi, forced him on to his bed, bound his wrists and feet, gagged him and covered his face with a cloth.

They stole two laptops, two cameras, two cellphones, bank cards and other items before setting the room alight.

They then charged transactions of more than R10 000, the most expensive being jewellery for R4 290 and clothing for R4 340, to the cards.

The trial continues today.

— Own Correspondent.


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