Judge to rule if ex-Blue Bulls player is 'responsible'

2014-09-25 23:17
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Durban – Ex-Blue Bulls player Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana is the man who killed four people with an axe, and who kidnapped a woman and raped her over three days.

However, on Friday acting Judge Irfaan Khalil will reveal whether the former rugby star was aware of what he was doing and whether he is criminally responsible.

On Thursday morning he ruled that the former rugby star was indeed the man who had committed four counts of murder, two of attempted murder, one of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, one of kidnapping, and one of rape.

"The identity of the accused in counts one to nine has been overwhelmingly established beyond a reasonable doubt," Khalil said.

However, he still had to rule on whether Ntshongwana was criminally responsible.

Judge Khalil adjourned his judgment on Thursday afternoon saying that he expected to be finished by Friday lunch.

The former rugby player killed Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu in Montclair on 20 March 2011, Paulos Hlongwa two days later, Simon Ngidi the following day, and an unidentified man sometime that week.

All were hacked to death with an axe. Two of the victims were beheaded.

He also raped and kidnapped a woman. He was charged with attempted murder for attacking two men, one in Umlazi on 21 March 2011, and the other in Lamontville on 23 March.

During closing arguments earlier this week, Ntshongwana's lawyer, Themba Mjoli, argued that at the time of the crimes his client suffered from a mental illness and had no control over his actions.

It could not be conclusively proved that he intended to commit the offences, Mjoli said. He contended that State psychiatrists colluded with police in a bid to secure a conviction.

Prosecutor Rea Mina denied this and argued that although he might have had a mental illness, it did not prevent him from knowing what he was doing was wrong.

Ntshongwana has claimed he had no recollection of any of the events.

He never testified during the trial.

‘A delusional disorder’

During the trial Professor Abubuker Gangat told the court that Ntshongwana was unaware of his actions because he acted on his delusions.

He told the court that Ntshongwana was suffering from a delusional disorder and would not remember the events.

However, Judge Khalil said he had problems with the evidence of Gangat, who was hired by Ntshongwana's family.

He said he found a number of contradictions in Gangat's evidence.

"He was tailoring his evidence to accord with the undisputed evidence of the case," said Khalil.

The court had previously heard from three expert State witnesses that Ntshongwana was diagnosed in 2009 as suffering from schizoaffective disorder - bipolar type.

Khalil said that all three witnesses questioned how Ntshongwana could have cleaned up blood from his car and his shower if he was not aware of his actions.

He said that there had to be some doubts over Ntshongwana's claims of amnesia as these were only made some time after his arrest.

A small group of ANC supporters protested outside the court.

The judgment continues.

Read more on:    phindile joseph ntshongwana  |  durban  |  crime

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