Accused uncle murdered four children ‘for their ears’

2018-03-23 13:33

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A South Coast man says he killed his two nieces and two nephews because he needed their ears to take to a traditional healer.

Ben Mbele (35) on Thursday told the Pietermaritzburg high court in a guilty plea that he was to be rewarded for the ears.

Although the state alleged he killed the Mbele siblings — Lwandle, Bandile, Sphindile and Lwandile — to claim on funeral policies he had taken out on them, it accepted the plea.

The children were aged between four to 11 years old and were stabbed to death on September 1, in the Ncukeni area in the vicinity of Port Edward.

Read out by his attorney Pauline Andrews, Mbele said in his plea that on August 16 last year, he met a man he knew who told him of a plan to get “lots of money”.

“He told me that he will need human ears for a traditional healer in Durban.”

This man also informed him that he knew his sister, Slindile Mbele, with whom he used to drink at a tavern and that she left her young children alone at home. The man told of a plan to kill the children for a lot of money.

“I initially ignored him.”

Two days later he again met the man, who spoke about the plan to kill the children. “Although he never indicated the amount of money I will get, he was very convincing this time and I agreed with the plan,” said Mbele.

He added they met on September 1, near his home, and went to his sister’s house. The four children were watching television. The man turned up the volume and tied the children’s hands with rope. Mbele went outside to urinate and when he returned one of the children had been stabbed by the man, who handed him the knife. He stabbed another child, who was asleep.

The man then took the knife and stabbed the other two children. He said the man then cut the children’s ears.

Mbele cried and he left.

The other man was arrested by police but later released due to the lack of evidence.

The investigating officer in the case, detective Warrant Officer Jabulani Nzimakwe, testified in aggravation of sentence that when a statement was taken from Mbele in September, he denied any knowledge of the children’s deaths.

He said he was in the Eastern Cape at the time.

Nzimakwe said he investigated claims that Mbele had taken out funeral cover for the children and found out the application was made to Avbob on December 1, 2016. He insured each child for R15 000. He claimed the R60 000 a few days after the children were killed and family members questioned knew nothing about it.

Nzimakwe will be cross-examined on Friday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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