Murder accused: I stumbled on knifing in progress

2013-05-14 00:00

A LOCAL carpenter on trial for murdering Northdale widow Venotha Ince (51) claims he stumbled across her while she was bleeding from several stab wounds as two men searched her bedroom on April 25 last year.

Sikhumbuzo Enock Mkhize (33) said he tried to help Ince by placing her on her bed, but one of the two attackers — tilers known to him as Themba and Rasta — attempted to stab him and warned him not to interfere in their business.

In a statement read to Acting Judge Piet Bezuidenhout by his legal aid attorney, Ishi Khan, Mkhize said he realised the men were in the process of robbing Ince. He was afraid of them and complied with their instructions.

He said the men took a bag which they told him contained money and instructed him to leave the premises with them.

On leaving the house they gave him a cellphone and told him to remain silent about what he saw.

Mkhize pleaded not guilty to Ince’s murder and to robbery with aggravating circumstances of her cellphone, bag and other valuables.

He said he was making built-in cupboards for Ince at the time.

She had employed Themba and Rasta to tile her home.

He said he was busy outside on the day in question when he heard someone shouting and went in to investigate.

He found Ince lying on the floor of her bedroom, bleeding. Rasta, who had a knife, and Themba were busy searching the room.

Mkhize’s former employer, building contractor Verandera Ramkilowan, testified that Mkhize was not legally at Ince’s house on that day because he was waiting for materials before continuing with renovations at the house.

He denied having called Mkhize that morning and arranged to meet him on site at Ince’s home in Egret Road, Northdale.

“I’m actually shocked. What would he have been doing there? There was nothing to be done,” he said.

He said he became alarmed when he got a phone call from Ince that day, but she didn’t speak to him. He went to the house, and saw her car in the yard.

Ramkilowan said he called several people for help and was advised to contact Chubb security.

Ince’s body was found in the house with multiple stab wounds.

The case is proceeding.

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