Manilall murder: verdict date set

2010-09-02 00:00

THE fate of a Howick couple, Mumtaz Osman and Sanesh Manilall, and Mboniseni Victor Mbatha, whom they allegedly hired in planning the 2006 murder of Manilall’s late wife, Monika, will be decided by KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Herbert Msimang and his assessor on September 27.

Monika Manilall was gunned down on February 3, 2006, by intruders inside the home she shared at the time with Sanesh, her husband, and their two children.

Manilall and Osman married some time after Osman was arrested and charged with the murder of Monika Manilall.

In their testimony, the couple admitted that they had been involved in an extramarital affair before the victim’s murder but denied having anything to do with her killing.

The state alleges that their obsession with each other was the motive for the murder, fuelled by the fact that Monika Manilall found out about the affair and threatened to divorce her husband if he did not end it.

State advocate Attie Truter urged Judge Msimang yesterday to convict the trio of carefully planning and carrying out the victim’s assassination.

He submitted that a last-minute decision by ­Mbatha to give evidence in his defence had the effect of of strengthening the state’s case against the three accused.

Describing Mbatha as generally a “pathetic” witness, Truter said that in some important respects he corroborated the evidence of an accomplice to the murder, Phumlani Madlala (who testified in the case for the state), regarding the fact that Osman was present in the vehicle that drove the armed killers from KwaPatha location to Manilall’s home on the day of the murder. This disproved Osman’s alibi to the effect that she was in Pinetown and not in the Howick area when Monika was murdered.

He said Osman’s cellphone records showed that her handset was in Howick that day through calls made and received, including calls between her and Manilall.

The state maintains that Osman directed the killers to the house and met up with them after the killing when they were taken from the scene by Mbatha.

Mbatha allegedly helped orchestrate the murder (at the instigation of Osman and Sanesh Manilall), drove the killers to and from the crime scene and paid them R10 000 after the murder.


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