Lawyers reject Mbokazi statement

LAWYERS representing Dumisani Xulu and Ronnie Khumalo yesterday argued in the South Gauteng court that allowing a statement made by wife of slain tourism mogul Franz Richter, to be used will "prejudice" their clients.

The state said it intended on submitting a statement made by Celiwe Mbokazi, 35, to prove that the two men planned Richter's murder.

"My instruction is that I should reject the admissibility of the statement. It is not in the interest of justice and it would be prejudicially against accused number two," Xulu's lawyer Ludwe Biyana told the court.

He said the statement was not reliable and was not supported by any evidence before the court.

"Accused number five (Mbokazi) does not say when such a plan was made. It seems it (statement) was out of the blue," said Biyana.

Khumalo's lawyer said the statement was "hearsay and should not be admitted".

"In the absence of proof about the plan, the statement remains hearsay. There is no corroboration."

She said admitting the statement at this stage would also compromise the entire trial.

Mbokazi, allegedly hired Khumalo - a man with whom she was having an affair a baby with - Tshepo Chirwa, Xulu, Gilbert Mosadi and Vincent Dlamini to rob and murder her elderly husband.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Mahlubi Ntlakaza read a statement in which Mbokazi said: "Ronnie and Dumisane planned to kill the old man."

Ntlakaza said there was constant communication between Xulu and Khumalo which made it clear that they had planned the murder.