Man in court for fiery murder

2010-04-20 13:41

Pietermaritzburg – Big, burly Gerald Rosselloty, 37, appeared in the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court on Monday in connection with the murder of a young woman whose charred remains were found lying on a burnt mattress in a plantation in Hilton on Saturday.

Rosselloty was not asked to plead to the murder charge.

According to the State’s charge sheet the victim is Nokwazi Mkhize.

Mkhize, from the Greytown area, was allegedly involved in a relationship with Rosselloty.

Sources said he was also involved in another relationship with a woman who gave birth to his child at the weekend.

Newborn baby

A photograph of Rosselloty - taken in hospital and smiling down at his newborn baby - was posted on his Facebook site at the weekend.

Rosselloty has not been charged at this stage in connection with a fire which partially destroyed the townhouse he was renting at Callanish Gardens in Monzali Drive in Hilton, about a kilometre from the murder scene, during Friday night.

Rosselloty, who was remanded in custody for seven days yesterday while he makes arrangements for legal representation, complained to magistrate Divesh Mootheram of “rough” handling by police investigating the case.

State prosecutor, Ricky Van Wyk told the court that the investigating officer in the case had asked that Rosselloty be held in police cells, but Rosselloty objected.

”I am unhappy (at that suggestion)...They (the police) have been rough and the reason that they want me at Loop Street police cells is that they can take me out whenever they want and do what they want. If I am at New Prison they have to sign me out,” he said.

Mootheram did not order that he be detained in the police cells but simply remanded him in custody.

Four previous convictions

Van Wyk said the State will oppose bail for Rosselloty who admitted during questioning by the court that he has four previous convictions - including robbery, rape, assault common and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm spanning more than a decade.

Wearing white tackies, beige shorts and a grey T-shirt, and standing in a long line together with the other accused making their first court appearances, Rosselloty and the others were warned by Mootheram that failure to disclose previous convictions or pending cases was an offence punishable by a fine of up to R40 000 or two years imprisonment.

Rosselloty admitted he was sentenced to an effective 12 years imprisonment in 1993 for a robbery he committed in 1991 as well as rape committed in 1993. He told the court he was sentenced to undergo eight years imprisonment on each charge but that four years of the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

In 2002 he was convicted of common assault and fined R100, and in 2005 he was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for which he was sentenced to undergo three years under correctional supervision.

”I think that’s it,” he told Mootheram.

Case adjourned

When asked if he had any pending cases he asked if that included charges that have been withdrawn and was told it did not.

The Witness has been told that a charge was provisionally withdrawn against him recently pending the outcome of a DNA result.

Rosselloty said he wants to brief a private attorney to represent him and Mootheram adjourned the case until April 26 for that purpose.

On that day it is likely a date will be set for the hearing of a formal bail application.