Witnesses finger man for death of ex-girlfriend

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The state has called all its witnesses to the dock in the murder case of a former Vaal University of Technology student who is accused of beating his girlfriend to death.

The girlfriend was waylaid and assaulted on December 26 2006 after she had dumped the accused for a new boyfriend.

Mandla Mathebula, 25, appeared before Judge Francis Legodi in the Nelspruit circuit court last week.

Mathebula is accused of beating Advice Mashaba, 19, to death as she walked home from a shebeen.

An 11-year-old boy, who testified through closed circuit television, has implicated Mathebula, saying he saw him fetching a shovel that he used to dig a shallow grave from which the mutilated body of Mashaba was exhumed 10 days later.

Gigi Khoza, Mashaba's friend, told the court that they were at a shebeen the night before the murder.

She said she left Mashaba in the shebeen, and when she returned later Mashaba was not there.

Khoza said she later went to another shebeen, and on her way there, she saw Mathebula dragging and assaulting Mashaba.

Emily Machave, 68, the 11-year-old boy's grandmother, confirmed what her grandson had earlier told the court.

Machave said Mathebula had borrowed a shovel from her and dug a hole next to a tree at the home of his policeman brother, Hoedspruit-based Inspector Richard Mathebula.

The 11-year-old boy's mother, Chriselda Mhlongo, also confirmed corroborated the evidence that Mathebula had dug a shallow grave.

Elvis Mhlanga, Mashaba's new boyfriend, told the court that he had spent some time with her the night before she was murdered. He said he had walked her home on the morning of December 26.

A Dr Kgoete, who conducted a postmortem on Mashaba, told the court that excessive bleeding could not be ruled out as the cause of death as her breasts had been cut.

The defence is expected to call its witnesses when the matter resumes on September 16.