Flabba would have killed her - girlfriend's lawyer

Johannesburg - Sindiwe Manqele killed Nkululeko "Flabba" Habedi because he would have killed her, her lawyer said on Monday. 

Delivering closing arguments, Norman Makhubela said had Manqele not fatally stabbed him, there would have been "a different person in the body bag". 

Manqele is on trial for the murder of her lover, Habedi. She stabbed him at his Alexandra home in March after they had an argument upon returning from a night out. 

Under cross-examination several weeks ago, Manqele told the court that she intentionally stabbed Habedi, but she hadn't meant to kill him. 

Makhubela, however, said this statement was not necessarily an indication of his client's guilt. 

He explained that she was devastated by the incident and had tried to resuscitate Habedi and also tried to slit her own wrists in an attempt to end her own life.

Some of Habedi's relatives have testified that they heard the couple arguing about an ex-girlfriend of Habedi's - identified only as Kea. But Makhubela said it was clear that the couple had in fact been fighting because of Habedi's jealous rage. 

'Witnesses appear to be frugal with the truth' 

Two friends of the couple said Manqele had been agitated after Kea danced in front of Habedi at the club hours before the murder. Habedi's family said when the couple came home, they heard them arguing about Kea. 

Manqele, however, claimed their disagreement came after he yanked her out of the club as she and a friend spoke to two men. 

"The witnesses appear to be frugal with the truth," said Makhubela. 

He called on the court to give Manqele the benefit of the doubt, saying she should be found not guilty and discharged. 

The State, however, has called on the court to not simply accept Manqele's version.

"Test the version of the accused. The court is not bound by the version of the accused. The court is obliged to look at all probabilities," said prosecutor Paul Schutte.

"She tried to portray the image that Habedi had been jealous," he said. 

Manqele had told the court that Habedi had brought the knife, which was later plunged into his heart, into his bedroom. She claimed he had used the knife as he tried to unhinge the door. 

Witnesses, however, denied this. 

Manqele claimed to have wrested the knife out of Habedi's hands as he pinned her down and spat in her face. 

"That is bizarre and outrageous. The deceased was a big man... The version that the accused was able to wrestle the knife [from] him is improbable," Schutte said.

Manqele told the court that as she tried to run out of the room, Habedi chased after her, pinned her to the wall and she stabbed him to flee from him. 

The matter continues.

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