Man accused of chopping up wife's body fit to stand trial

2018-11-23 21:14
Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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A man accused of dismembering his wife and dumping her body parts across Khayelitsha, is fit to stand trial, a Valkenberg panel of experts, comprising two psychiatrists and a psychologist, has found.

"The accused has been found fit to stand trial and does appreciate the wrongfulness of the offence," prosecutor advocate Megan Blows told the Western Cape High Court on Friday

Goodman Nobanda appeared avuncular as he stood in his neat tweed jacket and cleaned glasses in the dock. 

He used his brief appearance to ask for a Legal Aid lawyer who speaks isiXhosa, and said he feared being misunderstood during consultation.

He said he did not speak English and although he was consulting with his current Legal Aid-appointed lawyer Althea de Jongh, through an interpreter, some of the nuances of what he said might be lost in translation.

"Instead of saying 'no' in my statement, I will say 'yes'," Nobanda explained.

But Judge Robert Henney told him he could not pick his Legal Aid lawyer.

"You have to take what you get," said Henney, adding that he had never had any problems with De Jongh.

After some discussion with a Legal Aid Board representative present in court, Henney said that if an isiXhosa-speaking lawyer became available, the board could consider swopping his lawyer but De Jongh would continue with the case.

Nobanda faces charges of murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and obstructing the course of justice.

He is accused of dismembering Agnes Msiza, to whom he was married in accordance with customary law, and abusing her prior to her murder.

Only her head and upper leg were found, so the cause of her death could not be determined.

According to the indictment, in September 2016 Msiza applied for an interim protection order against Nobanda, which he refused to sign.

She is believed to have been murdered in their Mbethankunzi Street, Site B house seven months later.

The trial is scheduled to start on May 13, 2019.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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