Cape Town man claims self-defence, dismembers wife for fear of arrest

2019-05-28 18:08
Goodman Nobade (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Goodman Nobade (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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A Khayelitsha man accused of murdering his wife claims she died while he was defending himself during an argument and panicked, cut up her body and discarded it to avoid his community's retribution and arrest.

Goodman Nobade, 57, who has pleaded not guilty, tried to hide his face with a towel from reporters in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

He is charged with murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous harm, and obstructing the course of justice.

He was married to Agnes Msiza in accordance with customary law. 

She applied for an interim protection order against him in September 2016.

In a statement to police, which was handed up, Nobade detailed how she died in their Mbethankuzi Street home in Site B on April 20, 2017.

He claimed she had shouted at him and demanded to know where he was going, as he was dressed up early in the morning.

During their argument, he looked in the mirror and saw his wife coming towards him with a knife in her right hand.

He managed to grab the point of the knife, slicing into his right pinky finger.

In the tussle that ensued, he saw blood on the floor and felt her whole weight on him, he alleged.

He said it all "happened so quickly" and realised she had been stabbed and was dying.

According to Nobade, he took the knife out of her, cleaned the area up and locked the main bedroom with her body inside.

"I then realised that I have killed her and she is a woman and woman [sic] are having too much rights. If I repeat this to the community members I will be killed and if I go the police station, I will be arrested," he said in his statement.

"… I also thought of my age that I am very old to go to prison and die there."

After wandering around, he thought he should dispose of her body before it started decomposing as he was "afraid" of being arrested.

He admitted to police that he cut up her body, put the parts in black bags and dumped it across different parts of Khayelitsha.

Investigating officer Constable Vuyani Phinzi told the court on Tuesday that Nobade had pointed out the areas where he recalled having dumped the body parts.

At a reedy area which was burnt, they retrieved a plastic bag containing a head and thigh.

State forensic pathologist Jill Roman testified on Tuesday that she was tasked with examining a decomposing head and 47cm long femur bone.

The parts were found in a bag along with a black cloth, white doily material, a watch as well as a pink scarf and a pair of panties.

Looking at the relatively clean-cut edges, she believed a medium or large knife was used to sever the parts, although a smaller knife would have sufficed if the severing was done in layers.

It would have taken a significant amount of force to sever or separate the bone, she said.

She had been unable to determine the cause of death.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe asked why she believed someone would dump body parts in separate areas.

The pathologist replied that those involved generally did not want the parts to be found or they wanted to conceal the cause of death.

The court heard that Nobade also took officers to an area behind BM section but divers couldn’t find anything in the water.

"He pointed out that he threw the arms in that riverlet… the parts probably flowed away so they could not be retrieved," said Phinzi.

At another area near Baden Powell Drive, he pointed to a reedy area but divers were again unable to retrieve anything.

Phinzi said it was possible that dogs and pigs in the area could have eaten the body parts.

After his wife's death, Nobade travelled across the country, telling people that his wife had not returned from a funeral in De Doorns.

He was eventually arrested in Johannesburg in May 2017.

Prosecutor Megan Blows said Nobade claimed his wife assaulted and abused him, not the other way around.

Phinzi replied that there was no record of him laying a charge against his wife, nor evidence of officers being called out to attend to a domestic violence case.

Defence lawyer Office Mtini said his client went with his son to the police station in November 2016 to report that his wife had assaulted them.

"I cannot deny that but I do not have a record of that," said Phinzi.

The trial is due to resume on Wednesday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  women abuse  |  crime
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