Charges withdrawn against three in Villa Maria principal’s murder

2015-09-29 11:03
Villa Maria Primary School principal Nokuthula Magwanyana’s vehicle surrounded by police tape yesterday, where she was found hacked to death on the Table Mountain Road.

Villa Maria Primary School principal Nokuthula Magwanyana’s vehicle surrounded by police tape yesterday, where she was found hacked to death on the Table Mountain Road. (Amil Umraw)

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Pietermaritzburg - The prosecution withdrew murder charges against the three men held in connection with the murder of school principal Nokuthula Magwanyana on Monday.

However, one of them, Thamsanqa Ngcobo (30), is still facing a single count of theft of Magwanyana’s cellphone.

All charges were withdrawn against Nkosiphindile Zuma (19) and Mduduzi Mkhize (22).

Ngcobo was granted bail of R1 500 by the magistrate, Chris van Vuuren, who adjourned the case to November 27 for further investigation.

The Witness learnt that bail was not immediately paid on Ngcobo’s behalf as family members had to first fetch money.

Ngcobo admitted in evidence at the trio’s bail application, which got under way last week, that he had “mistakenly” removed Magwanyana’s cellphone from the crime scene. But he denied that he, Zuma or Mkhize were involved in any way with killing her.

The only evidence linking the group to the victim was her cellphone, which Ngcobo was accused of selling to a Pakistani shop. He claimed in evidence that he took it to be repaired and was unable to pay the R250 required for the repairs.

He said he intended to “return” the cellphone but didn’t hand it to police as he, and his co-accused, were being treated as suspects for the murder.

Magwanyana, principal of Villa Maria Primary School, was found brutally hacked to death in her car on the Table Mountain Road on August 26 amidst allegations that she was the victim of a campaign to intimidate her to resign as principal.

According to testimony given at the bail hearing last week, Ngcobo and his companions came across Magwanyana’s car parked on the wrong side of the road with the door open.

Ngcobo went to investigate.

He said he saw blood on the car and Magwanyana inside.

She did not respond to his calls. He took the cellphone from the passenger seat and tried to use it to call police but it had “no buttons”.

Ngcobo flagged down another motorist and whilst on the scene an unmarked police car drove up and stopped.

The trio then left the murder scene.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  crime  |  court

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