SA man killed by serial killer in US

2011-04-14 23:00

Pietermaritzburg - A former Maritzburg College pupil murdered in America was the victim of a serial killer - a South African who has been arrested in connection with four murders.

Zenzele Mdadane (25) was found dead on February 19 in Butler Township, Ohio.

Mdadane was from Hillcrest near Durban and matriculated at College in 2004. He was an avid rugby player.

At the time his body was discovered police did not know why Mdadane was in Ohio, because the only address listed for him was in New Jersey.

Muziwokuthula Madonda (33) was arrested in Texas on March 27 after fleeing New Mexico where two other killings were committed. The Witness could not establish where in South Africa he comes from.

According to a report in the Dayton Daily News in Ohio on April 9, Madonda is suspected of a string of murders that started in Ohio with the robbery and murder of bank vice president Jacquelyn Hilder on February 17.

On February 19 Mdadane’s body was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds. The newspaper reported that Madonda and Mdadane were acquaintances involved in a dispute over money and a visa.

Butler Township Police Chief Danny Hobbs was quoted as saying Madonda made statements to Ohio detectives implicating himself in Mdadane’s death.

According another Ohio newspaper, the Beacon Journal, police detectives John Bell and Michael Schaeffer confirmed that Madonda confessed to Hilder’s death during a nearly three-hour interview last week in Houston, Texas.

The Beacon Journal reported that Madonda was arrested near Houston on March 27 after fleeing New Mexico, where he was suspected in the robbery and slayings of two men whose bullet-riddled bodies were found atop each other in a motel room.

Clear his conscience

According to Ohio police, Madonda, who studied theology at a Georgia seminary after arriving in the US in 2008, confessed to the slayings in order to clear his conscience.

Madonda also studied engineering in the United Kingdom. When he got to the US about three years ago he first lived in New Jersey.

Commenting on Madonda’s confession, Schaeffer said: "He wanted to cleanse his soul".

Bell was quoted as saying: “He wanted to make life better for his parents. He wanted to be a success by age 30, and he felt he was a failure because that didn’t happen.

“So he decided to start taking shortcuts. That was one of his motivations [in the robberies and slayings].’

Victor Browne, who lived with Hilder, said Madonda was a quiet, religious man who attended church every Sunday, reported the Beacon Journal.

Browne said he tried to help Madonda learn the satellite TV business. But instead, he believes, Madonda studied Browne's lifestyle and learned Hilder, a 60-year-old divorcee with one adult daughter, was wealthy and potentially vulnerable.

Police believe Madonda, desperate for money, was en route to Akron, Ohio, to begin work on a new satellite TV contract when he conceived his plan to rob Hilder.

"Basically, [Madonda] needed money and he figured that since she's a vice president of a bank, she must have money,’" police detective Lieutenant David Whiddon said.

Tracked down

After the attack on Hilder, Madonda disappeared and surfaced again, working on another satellite TV contract hundreds of kilometres away in New Mexico. There, authorities said, Madonda roomed in a motel next to Gabriel Baca, (37) and his stepfather, Bobby Gonzales (57).

On March 24, the bodies of the two men were found atop each other in their motel room bathroom. Both were shot to death, said reports.
The men were last seen four days earlier, about the same time Madonda checked out of his room and left New Mexico.

Arrest warrants were issued, and Madonda was tracked down to Texas, where he was arrested on March 27. The revolver used in the slayings was recovered, said media reports.

Madonda is charged in Ohio with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. He is also charged with two counts of murder in New Mexico.

The SA international relations department said yesterday it is providing consular assistance to Madonda.

“We have heard about the case. Normally when a South African is in distress in another country, the embassy will render consular assistance,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Mdadane’s father, Zenzele Mdadane snr, declined to comment when The Witness contacted him yesterday. Mdadane Snr runs an engineering company in Durban.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-04-14 23:23

    Eish, very tragic. SA is now exporting it's criminal superiority.

  • james4usa - 2011-04-15 00:07

    Now he is our problem. Police work + court costs will be around $2 mill. He will have a court appointed gratis Lawyer, + all the shrinks he wants. If he gets convicted he will probably spend 15 years on death row going thru various appeals. The Prison cost alone is $47,000 pa.

      Anon - 2011-04-15 05:14

      Please,please, keep him there to face justice. In SA he would have dissapeared into the woodwork and probably lived the highlife without ever being apprehended. At least he won't carry on with his ways in SA.

      Gatvol - 2011-04-15 06:07

      Spending all that money on a criminal? That's outrageous James. Well I hope the other inmates will be screwing him really hard. Our government can send him a pot of Vaseline to help him out.

      lenand40 - 2011-04-15 10:11

      Reminds me of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan

      AJ - 2011-04-16 05:59

      @lenand40 - doesn't remind me of that at all.

  • Schalk - 2011-04-15 02:09

    45,569 South Africans/308,745,538 USA citizens=0.000147%. murder rate in usa: 0.000054%. likelyhood beeing killed by a SA man in USA, close to zero. We should start a facebook group: SA, keep your criminals at home!

      aamirfan - 2011-04-15 12:46

      45569 people Schalk? Seriously? Dont u mean 45 569 000? Now go do ur sums again.......

  • Neyven - 2011-04-15 04:57

    @Sword&Cross. I'm one of those erstwhile arrogant apartheid Afrikaner youths. The only difference is that I had to work and work hard for everything I have; nothing was handed to me on a plate. We were appreciative of the government's efforts and didn't burn down our schools or destroyed infrastructure. People helping themselves were sent to prison; not being rewarded with cosy jobs as MP's, etc., as is the case today.

      Bongza.GP - 2011-04-15 07:49

      Tell us one grievance you had with your government while you were at school. You think making crime a success is easy? These guys also have to work and work hard for everything they have, just like you. If they do not, just like you, they will have to beg on the streets or worse, bend over in jail.

      lenand40 - 2011-04-15 10:14

      @erstwhile? considering that te government spent 4 times as much money on you than they did on everyone else, the return on investment is not that high.

      myoomsemotor - 2011-04-15 10:14

      your comment has no relevance to the given article or do you only want to throw your penny in the stupid plate?

      TheBat - 2011-04-15 10:25

      @ Bongza.GP: Please don't tell me you are condoning any sort of crime. And that you actually think it's hard work.

      Bongza.GP - 2011-04-15 10:37

      I am not condoning crime. My pet hate is people who think that they are the only ones who work hard and the rest of us carry invisible plates around. The ones who think that their fathers had to sweat more than our fathers to put them into varsities. The ones who complain about bad taxi drivers and forget the 15 hard working people inside them.

  • timothydebeer - 2011-04-15 06:24

    Typical, if you aren't successful when you want murder and rob...

  • pikie75 - 2011-04-15 07:34

    They have townships in America...

      TheDes - 2011-04-15 07:42

      pikie75 read what a definition of township is. my goodness people read more and get educated before posting stupid comments.

      Just Greg - 2011-04-15 07:56

      A township in the United States is a small geographic area. Townships range in size from 6 to 54 square miles (15.6 km to 140.4 km), with 36 square miles (93 km) being the norm.

      Frangipani - 2011-04-15 14:57

      Ja seems so, was suprised to read that too...

      Just Greg - 2011-04-15 21:56

      Just to Clarify. The meaning of the word Township in the USA means a small town/ Dorp. We do not have townships like the South African meaning of the word.

  • Krush - 2011-04-15 08:01

    South Africa has thousands of serial killers. They break in, rob, rape and murder daily, it's part of their lifestyle. It happens in America, they get called a serial killer and it makes headlines. haha. (Yes I know, 3+ murders makes you a serial killer - you think the murderers in south africa have killed less? With a rate of 50 murders a day...we're surrounded by serial killers).

      ivory - 2011-04-15 09:39

      Wow I never saw it like that. It's true, we are surrounded by this filth

      Wanna be chef - 2011-04-15 13:14

      I was thinking the same thing and then got to your comment. It is real scary. - 2011-04-16 10:05

      We are but it should not be scary for anybody. Your personal safety, and that of your family is YOUR CONCERN. Not the Government (they could care less) Not the Police (care even less) YOU. Get a gun. In fact, get several guns. Get your family guns. Train how to use them. Develop a survivor attitude to life. No matter what, you must PREVAIL. Then let the filth try and make you a statistic. Know Guns, Know Peace, Know Safety. No guns, No peace, No safety.

      Carl Freeman - 2013-03-04 23:22

      @ohasa yip and then you have those who end up like Reeva at the hands of OP

  • Fred - 2011-04-15 08:14

    SA exporting its favorite passtime to the US, hope they have the death penalty in Ohio and New Mexico.

      Tamzien - 2011-04-15 09:13

      Yes Fred they are no serial killers in America. Also SA is the only country that has murders/criminals who move to other countries and commit crimes. *smh*

      Irvine - 2011-04-15 16:00

      Tamzien - you're reading a whole lot into Fred's statement aren't you? Good Lord, he did not say that, or even intimate it! Chill a little why don't you!

  • Tamzien - 2011-04-15 09:19

    This clown is just making excuses, he is guilty as sin and no amount of repentance is going to help. Funny over the past couple of weeks we have had 2 two SA serial killers who are devout Christians. Wounder if the has ever been a study to link religious piety to violent criminal behavior.

      Tamzien - 2011-04-15 09:36

      Answered my own question, couldn't get into most articles. This one was pretty useful ( no real direct link between the two. "Strain" in the formative years seems the stronger indicator to delinquency.

  • Homo-Sapien - 2011-04-15 09:29

    hope he gets the death penalty!

  • Ozman - 2011-04-15 09:30

    Death penalty in Texas and Ohio.

  • eliot - 2011-04-15 09:42

    I wonder why there's so much hype about this article? i wonder if everybody that has commented here does the same on every other article bearing such a string of news?

      Carmaine Harrison - 2011-04-15 11:47

      Of course!!! Don't you read? We comment on EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME!!!

  • eliot - 2011-04-15 09:50

    I find it funny that everybody that has commented here seems somewhat amused by this article with reference to the comments made. its obvious even to one with dull intellect I suppose about the existence of stereotypical undercurrents laiden through-out all this feedback. the pity of it all, mass negativity. out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks/in this case through words. hence presuming everybody here is majority south african, what hope of a bright future is there if the central focus as can be seen is "labelling" and "fingerpointing"? no man/counry is an island, everybody has a role to play, so if your role is to spread divisive vices, they hey, good for you, you're just the cause of the problem whose solution you parade to be

  • Virginia - 2011-04-15 10:02

    How can the SA consular help this guy, he is a murderer, let USA deal with him. When our people are kidnapped in other countries the SA consular does not seem to wnt help all these people. Let him get whats coming his way, the death sentence which he deserves.

  • chikambeka - 2011-04-15 10:39

    1st & foremost we should understand that we are talking of very young children here: 5-10 years. So very young that the use of word 'pedestrians' is a bad choice, so sirens or no sirens young children remain a special group whose responsibility is on us, everyone. The cop should have known better: reduce speed & exercise caution when approaching kids. He would have been able to stop without swerving... NEGLIGENCE! Secondly, there is no justification what-so-ever in killing a few 'right' ones to save the many 'wrong'. Its the ones who were off the road (following the 'be off the road' rule as prescribed to them) who were killed or should I say 'murdered' to save those who were on the wrong spot. Can someone tell me which rule that is. Was the cop busy on his phone (obviously not a business call) so much so that he only 'discovered' of the children's presence in the road when it was too late to stop for his speed? He proceeded to pursuing an 'uncalculated' decision which claimed 2 innocent, young lives! NEGLIGENCE!!! The driver, must face the consequences. My sincere condolences to the affected. As comfort, accept that it has happened & can't be changed. Its a walk we shall all take. Road authorities, parents, teachers, in fact all of us: lets teach children safe road practices. To drivers- children and the elderly are our responsibility. Their sense of danger is very dull.

      Shailo - 2011-04-15 13:09

      What the blazes are you on about?

      Paralegal - 2011-04-15 16:27

      Think he thought he was commenting on the story about the police van than knocked over the children. Sheesh.

  • BMN - 2011-04-15 10:39

    This guy was messed up long before he left South Africa. At least now he is world famous or infamous. If he did that here in SA, he would make headline news if he cut them up into 39 pieces and sold the parts to the department of health in the Eastern Cape. This one is going for death the electric chair. Maybe they will give him an option of food poisoning. What I like about the US, they give you a choice when it comes to the death penalty...You can also skip the line on death row if you want.

  • BMN - 2011-04-15 10:43

    This guy was messed up long before he left South Africa. At least now he is world famous or infamous. If he did that here in SA, he would make headline news if he cut body parts into 39 pieces, ate some and sold the rest to the department of health in the Eastern Cape. This one is going straight to the electric chair. Maybe they will give him an option of food poisoning. What I like about the US, they give you a choice when it comes to the death penalty...You can also skip the line on death row if you want.

  • dylan stuart botha - 2011-04-15 10:53

    Sad news. Condolences to the Mdadane family. And to all the College lads that were friends with Mdadane.

  • INFINIT - 2011-04-15 10:54


      Irvine - 2011-04-15 15:55


  • abs230653 - 2011-04-15 11:42

    Savages !

  • Joe - 2011-04-15 13:19

    What is it with blacks and 'townships'?

      Bongza.GP - 2011-04-15 14:15

      tltltltl! I was thinking the same thing.

      Just Greg - 2011-04-15 21:58

      Just to Clarify. The meaning of the word Township in the USA means a small town/ Dorp. We do not have townships like the South African meaning of the word.

  • julie.khan3 - 2011-04-15 13:31

    Contagious....from South Africa..spread to America.Same robbery killing,etc Exported to America.. Please No Mercy for him there.Death Penalty with immediate effect.

  • jdeeathome - 2011-04-15 16:02

    lets post juju

  • Kate - 2011-04-15 16:33

    Madonda is a Mozambican. He got a South African Id fraudulently from corrupt home affairs officials.

  • Mundu - 2011-04-15 17:32

    He will hang for sure

  • GForceZA - 2011-04-15 18:16

    I knew both of these guys when I worked there in 2008...shocking :/

  • Matt - 2011-04-15 19:21

    Typical ANC voter - animals

  • Bruce Alumbaugh - 2011-04-15 21:44

    Keep him in Texas! They have and USE the death penalty on scum like this. Sometimes you have to put down a dangerous animal.

  • Mathapelo serobatse - 2011-04-16 15:07

    This is very sad, i can imagine being in a foreign country(America to be exact) and knowing that everyone is expecting you to come back home loaded. this is not acceptable but i understand the pressure he had/felt.

      Thabo - 2011-04-18 23:25

      How thoughtful of you, am impressed. I'd swear hore wa motseba. Nna ke mo utlwela bohloko hobane ke ne ke mo tseba hahoolo.

  • Mlu Xulu - 2011-04-18 02:30

    I am saddened by this tragedy, indeed all have the right to life. I blame the misconception perceived by Muzi that money can be made easily. nonetheless, this shall serve as a learning curve to him and furthermore must utilise the sentence as a period of revitalisation. Knowing him on a personal capacity, he was indeed a vibrant and energetic leader in terms of pushing forth the aim and objectives of the youth struggle in SA. We salute him for this but unashamedly vocalise that we condemn his actions be it they were committed. Prison is not the end of the world but on the other hand, killing is no way to live life. To Muzi, find your real image. Engage thoroughly in intraspection. A luta continua. *sad* Let law take its just course.

      Thabo - 2011-04-18 23:26

      I was with Dondos at UDW, not the one am reading about.

  • Mlu Xulu - 2011-04-18 02:32

    Let the law take its just course. I know Muzi at a personal level and am saddened by his actions if they were committed. Prison is not the end of the world, but treat this time as a learning curve. Revitilise, strategise and engage in intraspection. Killing is not the way to live life. I condemn these actions. *sad*

  • J Ayl - 2011-04-18 14:56

    to the US - Get more of these affirmative action criminals into your country and give them all green cards - why don't you! Many like him consider themselves "under privileged" in South Africa and are protected. Just don't give it a ticket to fly "home" please. Hope DP is on the table!

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