Man admits he raped and killed his teenage cousin

2009-02-18 00:00

A northern KwaZulu-Natal man, Lindani Gilbert Dlamini, has pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to raping and then strangling his 14-year-old cousin, Mabongi Cynthia Mkhabela, on February 2 because he did not believe her when she promised she would not report the incident to their families.

Dlamini, who is disputing his age given in the charge sheet as 20, will be sentenced on February 27 after he has undergone an age assessment and a probation officer has compiled a report on him.

He said in a statement, which he confirmed as correct before Judge Chris Nicholson yesterday, that his cousin approached him early that morning to ask him to pay back R10 he owed her. She went with him to a shop where he told her the money was, but the shop was closed.

He said as they returned home he became sexually aroused when he asked her about her boyfriend.

He grabbed her, pushed her to the ground and raped her.

Afterwards he was "overcome with guilt" and profusely apologised.

Dlamini said she said she would not tell the families, but he did not believe her. "I then decided to kill myself and the deceased. I grabbed the deceased with my right hand around her throat and began strangling her. I held the deceased's hands behind her back with my left hand. I only ceased strangling the deceased when I was satisfied that she was dead."

Dlamini said afterwards he fled to Melmoth to kill himself. He sent an SMS to his uncle telling him he was sorry and that he was intent on killing himself. While he was going to a plantation to hang himself, his mother phoned and asked him to come back to the homestead.

Dlamini said he was arrested by members of the community policing forum (CPF) about 10 km from his home, who also assaulted him.

During the beating, which he said he deserved, a "mob" gathered who wanted him handed over to them, but the CPF called the police instead.

Dlamini said he had consumed a large amount of alcohol on the day, but was able to appreciate right from wrong at the time.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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