Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Judgment gets under way in the Cape high court today in the trial of alleged baby-murder mastermind Dina Rodrigues and four men the state claims she hired as hitmen.
Rodrigues, Sipho Mfazwe, Mongezi Bobotyane, Zanethemba Gwada and Bonginkosi Sigenu stand accused of murdering six-month-old baby Jordan-Leigh Norton on June 15 2005. Jordan was the child of Natasha Norton and Neil Wilson.
Wilson, a teacher, had been involved with Norton, but at the time of the murder was in a serious relationship with Rodrigues.
According to the prosecutors, Rodrigues' motive for the murder was to save Wilson the financial burden of maintenance. She was also filled with jealousy and shame that he had had a baby by another woman out of wedlock.
The accused have been waiting for two weeks for the verdict since final arguments ended on April 18.
In closing arguments, the defence teams called for their acquittal on all charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, armed robbery and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Advocate John van der Berg, representing Rodrigues, said the murder was a kidnapping that went "horribly wrong". He also called for her acquittal on an additional charge against her alone of intimidation, involving threatening SMSes she allegedly sent to Wilson.
Prosecutors Nicolette Bell and Maria Marshall said Rodrigues masterminded the plan to get the four men into Norton's Lansdowne house. -- Sapa