Solik couple’s last moments revealed

2017-10-17 13:45
Murder accused Xolani Brian Ndlovu.

Murder accused Xolani Brian Ndlovu.

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One of the killers of Christine and Roger Solik described in unemotional terms on Monday how he and a companion decided to “get rid” of the KZN couple after kidnapping them.

The couple’s hands and legs were tied with electrical cord and they had pillow cases covering their heads when they were thrown off a bridge into the Inzinga River at Impendle on February 17.

Christine Solik (57) drowned, meaning she was alive when she was flung into the water.

She had also been stabbed and suffered multiple other injuries.

A post mortem found that her husband Roger (66), a Parkinson’s sufferer whose body was recovered much later, probably died of asphyxiation.

The trial of Xolani Brian Ndlovu (31) has been separated from that of his co-accused, Thulani Moses Mthembu (43), because the former pleaded guilty.

Mthembu will stand trial from on Wednesday.

Ndlovu faces sentencing on Tuesday after he suffered a sudden onset of stomach cramps at lunchtime and Acting Judge Anand Maharaj adjourned the case until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in victim impact statements handed to court, the Solik family laid bare their heartbreak over the brutal killings of the much-loved couple.

Their son Gregory (also writing on behalf of his siblings Alexander and Brendon) described the time since the murders as “disorientating, painful and beyond comprehension”.

“How does anyone express publicly the devastation of their private loss? What facts could ever help anyone understand the emotion of knowing your parents were fished from out of a river; one of them broken and caught on a branch, the other bloated and eaten by crabs?

“How do you explain what it is like to bury your mother on her birthday in front of her elderly and traumatised mother, my grandmother?” he said.

But he also paid tribute to his parents, saying they will never be forgotten. “They will be remembered, and not by the way they were taken but by the way they lived. For the rich life that they built from humble beginnings and for the family they made. The Soliks.”

His sister, Jessica Carelse, said she can no longer admire the beauty of the South African landscape. “Every mountain I look upon all I can see are my parents faces as they passed along a desolate dust road to their unfathomable end.”

In a written plea read to court by his lawyer, Lauren Marais, Ndlovu described how he and his companion lay in wait on the fateful night for the Solik’s lights to be switched off so that they could break into the couple’s home at The Bend estate in Lions River.

“Once certain that the occupants were asleep I broke open the window leading into the dining room of that house … we made our way up the stairs in an attempt to locate the bedroom.”

Ndlovu switched on the bedroom light and they demanded money from the woken couple, he said. “They indicated the only money they had was in the bank. We requested the ATM card in order to access the money.”

Ndlovu said they also demanded car keys and he went to bring the car closer to the door.

After loading a TV, a DVD player and a “few bottles of liquor” in the vehicle, he went back inside and then saw a “substantial amount of blood on the floor”.

“I found my co-accused had stabbed the female deceased [Christine Solik] as she was putting up a certain degree of resistance,” he said.

“We tied their hands as well as their legs together, placed pillow cases over their heads and loaded them into the boot of their vehicle.

“I knew of a guy who wanted to buy a TV set so we drove to his house and sold the TV and DVD [player] for R1 000 which we split between us.

“We then decided to get rid of them … we drove to Impendle and threw [them] off the bridge of the Inzinga River into the river.”

Ndlovu said after this they drove to Elandskop and abandoned the stolen vehicle.

As it was morning by then, they caught a taxi to Pietermaritzburg and found an ATM where, with the help of a guard, they withdrew R2 000 belonging to the Soliks, shared the money and parted ways.

Ndlovu said as soon as he was arrested — about a month later — he had co-operated with the police.

Acting Judge Anand Maharaj convicted Ndlovu of two counts of kidnapping, two of murder and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

While Marais asked the judge to show Ndlovu mercy because he had pleaded guilty, state advocate Zithulele Nxumalo called for life imprisonment for the murders and the prescribed minimum jail terms for the other charges. Nxumalo said the crimes were callous and brutal in the extreme.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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