Handyman appears for Cape Town granny's murder

2016-11-18 17:36
SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A handyman intended pleading not guilty to murdering a Cape Town grandmother, the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday.

During a pre-trial hearing, Joseph Vuzile Mbatha's legal team indicated that his trial was set down for March 6 2017.

He stands accused of killing 86-year-old Daphne Mavis Higgens at her home in Groenvallei, Bellville.

Her grandson had hired a contractor to restore her roof on May 6 2015, according to the summary of substantial facts.

The contractor sent Mbatha and another man and they completed the job in a day.

Higgens' last telephonic contact was with her daughter Eileen on May 14.

Car abandoned

Surveillance footage showed the granny's Hyundai driving from the house of a neighbour at 02:10 on May 15.

Police received a complaint of an abandoned car at another location and traced it back to Higgens.

They went to the elderly woman's home and were unable to make contact with her. A neighbour gave police the spare house key and they discovered her body in her bedroom.

The investigation led to Mbatha's residence being searched by police a few days later. They found some of Higgens' possessions there.

They also seized blood-stained shoes at his house. The DNA sample matched that of Higgens.

A post-mortem revealed she died due to compression of the neck, with blunt force head trauma as a contributing factor.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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