Lover strangled, then burnt

2012-02-14 00:00

THE girlfriend of murder accused Gerald Rosselloty, Nokwazi Ntuli, suffered severe internal bruising of her chest and heart, fractured ribs and other injuries consistent with strangulation.

She was not alive when she was set alight on a mattress in the veld in Hilton in the early hours of April 17, 2010. Evidence showed that she did not inhale soot, indicating that she was no longer breathing at the time of the fire.

These were of the findings detailed in the high court in Pietermaritzburg by Dr Dhanraj Maney, who conducted the post-mortem, in Rosselloty’s trial before Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors.

Maney said “tremendous force” must have been applied to Ntuli’s chest, compressing her heart to the extent that it was bruised at the back by the vertebrae in the spine.

“It [the bruising] could be caused by a knee or a person standing or stamping on the body for a sustained amount of time,” said Maney.

The ribs on the right side were fractured by the application of “blunt force”.

He said the force that was used would have been enough to kill by stopping the heart.

Ntuli’s tongue was protruding and her teeth were clenched, evidence of possible asphyxiation or strangulation, he said. “This suggests compression of the neck structures … it is not conclusive, however,” said Maney.

He also found bruising of the Adam’s apple, nose and forehead and blood in the nostrils and mouth.

Rosselloty’s lawyer, Chetna Singh, suggested to Maney during cross-examination that her client would allege that a man named Lucky had been involved in a fight with Ntuli the night of her death. According to Rosselloty’s version, when he later fell asleep next to Ntuli she was “fine”.

It was suggested to other witnesses that Rosselloty claimed he woke up in the early hours of April 17, 2010, in the passenger seat of his bakkie, which was parked outside the home of a friend, Candice Hickinbotham, in Hilton.

He didn’t know how he got there.

Hickinbotham, testifying for the state yesterday, said she received two SMS messages from “Rosso” after his arrest asking her to provide him with a false alibi.

The first SMS read: “ I’m relying on you. Quick [sic] to the 9 to 1 thing”, and the other stated: “10 till 1. We were drinking.”

Hickinbotham said they had not been drinking together the previous night.

She said Rosselloty arrived at her simplex at 6.30 am on April 17 and told her about the fire. After he had returned some phone calls on his cellphone he remarked that he was “probably now going to be arrested and implicated in whatever had happened”.

“He said he had to leave to go hand himself over and he said we need to help him.”

By “we” she had assumed he was referring to her and Jo, the woman who had given birth to Rosselloty’s child the previous day.

Rosselloty’s attorney said he would deny sending the SMSes to Hickinbotham and maintain that he was not in possession of his cellphones at the time as they were with the police.

Police investigating officer Andrew Salzwedel confirmed he took away Rosselloty’s two cellphones, but said he returned one to him briefly when Rosselloty asked to call his attorney.

Salzwedel said that Rosselloty told him in an interveiw that he was in New Hanover (en route to the Mighty Men conference) when he received a call in the early hours of the morning telling him his simplex was on fire.

Rosselloty is expected to testify today.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.