The ‘hitman’ who hesitated

2011-01-19 00:00

A MAN alleged in evidence in the regional court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday that he was hired by local man Nireshan Sokalingam (31) in August 2009 to murder his wife, Kamal, and make it “look like” a robbery and rape.

The alleged would-be “hitman”, Delani Ngubo, said that a day before he was due to carry out the deed he had an attack of conscience and instead alerted the police.

However, it was suggested to him during cross-examination by defence advocate Shane Matthews that Ngubo went to the police after failing in a bid to extort money from Sokalingam.

Matthews said Sokalingam will deny that he conspired to murder his wife.

He alleges that after meeting Ngubo, he told him he was separated from his wife and that she had taken out a protection order against him.

It was then that Ngubo suggested killing her, but Sokalingam merely laughed, Matthews said.

Subsequently, Ngubo attempted to extort money from Sokalingam by threatening to go to the police with the story that Sokalingam had hired him to kill his wife, said Matthews.

Ngubo denied this.

In his testimony Ngubo said he first met Sokalingam around May or June 2008.Sokalingam later called to ask him if he could find someone to carry out a killing, but did not mention a name.

Ngubo said he did not hear from Sokalingam again until August 2009, when Sokalingam contacted him and arranged to meet him at his home in Mpophomeni.

An agreement was reached in terms of which he was to kill Sokalingam’s wife for R10 000.

He said it was agreed that he would carry out the murder on August 13, 2009, and that Sokalingam would provide him with a house key. He said it was arranged that Sokalingam would ensure he worked a night shift that night, leaving his wife alone at home. Ngubo alleged Sokalingam told him to “fake a robbery” by stealing CD and DVD players and to rape his wife before killing her.

The date for the planned murder was later changed from August 13 to August 21. However, the day before it was to be carried out Ngubo decided he could not take a life and instead contacted the police.

The case has been postponed to May 4 for further evidence.

Sokalingam has pleaded not guilty.

He is out on bail of R2 000.

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