Court hears how two homeless men ended up being party to murder

2019-04-30 15:25
Nompumelelo Ngubane.

Nompumelelo Ngubane. (File)

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Two homeless men say they were recruited by a man to do odd jobs but ended up being party to the murder of his fiancée a day before her wedding.

Kwanele Shoba and Sifiso Mkhize are on trial in the Pietermaritzburg high court for the murder of Nompumelelo Ngubane, a nurse at Edendale Hospital. The alleged mastermind behind the killing, her fiancé Jabulani Sithole, is on the run.

Read: Bride killed on eve of wedding after receiving threats

He was initially arrested along with the men and Sanele Zondi who has now turned into an accomplice state witness. All four men were denied bail, but then Sithole brought a bail appeal to the high court and succeeded. In August last year, he was released on a R5 000 bail.

It is alleged in the indictment that the couple had a strained relationship and that Sithole decided to kill her. He got the other three men, who were homeless and survived on odd jobs, to assist.

On August 18, 2017, Sithole fetched Ngubane from a hair salon and introduced the men inside the car as air conditioner salesmen. Sithole drove to the Camps Drift area where he parked and got out with one of the men, while the remaining two men throttled Ngubane.

Sithole then dropped off the men and drove to the KwaPata area where he parked the vehicle, with Ngubane’s body inside.

Mkhize’s and Shoba’s plea explanation was similar. Mkhize said that Sithole approached him and the other two men “to do a task for him”.

“I did not know what the task was, but I was under the impression that we would be assisting him with gardening services as I lived on the streets and made a living by doing odd jobs,” he said.

He said they had picked up Ngubane from the hair salon and while Sithole was driving, he had an argument with her and accused her of cheating on him, which she denied.

When they reached Camps Drift, Sithole asked him and the other two men to jump out of the car because he wanted to speak to Ngubane alone.

After a while Sithole shouted at them to return. Mkhize said he saw Ngubane in the front passenger seat wearing her seatbelt. “A doek was covering her eyes and it seemed that she was asleep”. He added that Sithole demanded they help him bury Ngubane. It was only then that he realised she was dead. He said he and the others refused and Sithole threatened them. He said if they told anyone about what had happened, he would kill them.

Sithole then gave them R2 000 to keep quiet, which they divided among themselves. The trial continues.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder
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