Murder accused tells of abuse

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Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales

A woman who could no longer tolerate being abused by her boyfriend, paid a man R5 000 to kill him.

Ntomzonke Mbutho on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg high court to the murder of her partner, Amos Ngcobo, in Pinetown in June 2017.

Her plea, read out by Advocate Zina Anastasiou, was accepted by the court and she was convicted.

Mbutho said that she and Ngcobo had been living together for seven years and have a nine-year-old child. Ngcobo mentally and physically abused her for a long time, she said. In 2012, he hit her and she fell and had a miscarriage.

Mbutho said she did not report the abuse because she was scared of him.

In addition, he would have sexual intercourse with her against her will, “always telling me that he was entitled to because he had paid lobola”. However, he had only paid half the lobola.

Whenever she threatened to leave him he would tell her that she had to leave their son behind and pay back the lobola otherwise he would kill her and bury her where no one could find her, she said.

“After each incident of abuse he would apologise and I always wanted to believe that he was sorry,” said Mbutho.

She said on June 1, 2017 she came home late and he took a hosepipe and tried to strangle her with it. She collapsed. That night she slept in the yard as he had threatened to kill her.

She added that he also told her that he would never let their son go to her mother’s house.

“I felt hopeless and I decided that the only way out of the situation was to kill him,” she said.

A few days afterwards she told her cousin about the abuse and that she wanted to kill Ngcobo.

He arranged for a man called “Sabelo” to do the killing. On the night Ngcobo was to be killed, she left her son at her aunt’s house. She and Ngcobo were watching TV and when he went into the bathroom, Sabelo got into the house.

“I got up to go and hide and I saw Sabelo shoot Ngcobo in his hand. I hid in the bedroom cupboard and heard more gunshots. I heard footsteps running away and I came out of the hiding place. I went to the neighbour and later on the police arrived,” she said.

Mbutho said she paid her cousin R2 500 twice to pay Sabelo.

She said she was sorry for what she had done. Argument on sentencing has been adjourned to February 28.

Sabelo has not yet been arrested and her cousin has subsequently died.

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