Rosselloty ‘a cold fish’

2012-02-09 00:00

HILTON murder and rape accused Gerald Rosselloty (40) was a “cold fish” who showed no emotion at the prospect that his girlfriend might be missing or died in a fire.

“I’ve seen people show more concern if a dog is missing,” Warrant Officer Andrew Jackson told Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors.

Jackson arrested Rosselloty on April 17, 2010, on suspicion of arson and murder of his live-in girlfriend, Nokwazi Ntuli.

Her charred remains were found in the early hours that day on a mattress in the veld about three kilometres from the Hilton simplex she had shared with Rosselloty, which was also damaged by fire.

Jackson testified that while at the scene of the house fire in the early hours of the morning, he saw Rosselloty sitting in his bakkie drinking a beer.

He recognised him as the owner because he had gone there the previous week in response to a complaint of an assault made by Ntuli against Rosselloty.

At the scene he asked Rosselloty what had happened. He replied that he had left home at midnight to go to a Mighty Men (Christian) conference in Greytown, leaving his girlfriend in the house. A few minutes later Rosselloty contradicted himself by stating that he had been at Ashburton when he received a call to return at about 1.45 am as his house was on fire, said Jackson.

He said that although Rosselloty repeated several times that he had left his girlfriend in the house he did not show any concern. “It was like we were chatting about the weather … there was no worry or concern about where she was.”

Jackson said he spoke to firemen at the scene who were adamant that there were no human remains in the house or any sign that a person was inside during the fire.

When he entered the simplex after the blaze was put out, he noticed that there was no mattress in one of the bedrooms that had been burned.

When he was called to the spot where Ntuli’s body was found just hours later at about 7.20 am he immediately suspected it was her.

“The week before I had mistaken her for a child because she was so small …

“Because of the size of the person and the fact there was no burnt mattress in the house, I suspected this was his [Rosselloty’s] girlfriend who was supposed to be in the house.”

Jackson said that when he tried to call Rosselloty his cellphone was on voicemail, but shortly afterwards police at the Hilton police station phoned to say Rosselloty was trying to contact him.

When he phoned Rosselloty back, the first thing he had asked was whether it was true they had found a burnt body on a mattress.

“I said it was, and then he asked, does that mean he’s a suspect and that I’m going to arrest him. I said yes … he then told me that he didn’t do it,” said Jackson.

He said Rosselloty stated he would “need a few minutes” to draw money and buy toothpaste and a toothbrush to take with him to prison. He handed himself over to Jackson about 20 minutes later.

He said Rosselloty did not ask to see the body found on the mattress to confirm that it was his girlfriend, and again did not seem concerned.

Rosselloty pleaded not guilty yesterday to the charges of murder and arson arising from Ntuli’s death, as well as to a charge that he raped a six-year-old child on September 2, 2006.

He chose to remain silent and did not disclose the basis of his defence.

State advocate Dorian Paver said the state would lead evidence that the child in question had to undergo surgery as a result of the rape. The girl is expected to testify at the trial via an intermediary.

The state alleges in its indictment that earlier on the day that Ntuli died Rosselloty had been at the side of another woman who gave birth to his child at Grey’s Hospital.

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