Prof Zondi: woman blamed

2010-08-25 00:00

DETAILS of how retired Pietermaritzburg academic Professor Samuel Zondi (71) was overpowered in his flat and bound and gagged with a head scarf and black plastic packet are contained in confessions made to magistrates by three of the five accused on trial in the high court for his murder and related charges.

The three accused claimed that when they left the flat Zondi was still alive, and that they were told later that his former lover, Gugu Ndlovu (34) —who masterminded the robbery — returned to the flat, killed Zondi and set fire to the premises.

Two of them claimed Ndlovu described Zondi as her “ex-boyfriend” and said she needed their help to fetch “her belongings” from the flat.

The confessions — whose accuracy is not disputed by the accused who made them, but which differ in some details — revealed that two men were left to guard Zondi while Ndlovu and others visited the Golden Horse Casino and attempted unsuccessfully to draw money on the night he was attacked, on February 17, 2009.

After all of them had left the flat Ndlovu allegedly gave instructions for them to go back to fetch her scarf which was “still in Zondi’s mouth”.

She and three others had then gone back to get the scarf. After retrieving it she allegedly replaced it with a tie and thereafter again tied a black plastic bin bag around Zondi’s mouth.

It is also alleged by two of the accused in their statements that they had suggested to Ndlovu that they should untie Zondi once she had got what she wanted, but that she disagreed, saying Zondi was “too clever” and would stop her using the bank cards.

The next day the group all went to Durban, where goods such as laptops and digital cameras taken from Zondi’s flat were sold.

According to two statements, Ndlovu paid each of her accomplices R900.

She also tried to use a credit card — which was declined — to buy shoes for some of them .

On trial before Acting High Court Judge S.J. Ngwenya on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and six counts of fraud arising from the incident are Ndlovu, Jabulile Ngcobo (24), Sakhile Hlongwa (20), Mwandile Zwane (20) and Mondli Cele (22).

All pleaded not guilty to all charges.

State advocate Attie Truter said the state will ask the court to find that all five accused formed a common purpose to rob and murder Zondi.

One of the witnesses expected to testify is allegedly an accomplice to the offences.


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