Murder accused lied to court about 'sister'

MULALO Sivhidzho lied to get bail after being arrested for allegedly killing her husband, the state has suggested.

While being quizzed on the contents of her bail application statement on Friday, it was suggested that Sivhidzho, 32, had misled the court by saying Humbulani Maphutha, whom she was ordered to stay with until the trial ends, was her sister.

Living with Maphutha is one of the bail conditions ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal, where she was granted bail after a failed bid in the magistrate's court.

Presiding Judge Naren Pandya ordered that the issue of whether the judge who granted bail was misled should be left for arguments between the state and defence.

But Sivhidzho insisted during cross-examination in her trial-within-a-trial in the Johannesburg high court that Maphutha was her sister, though they do not have the same parents.

"She is my sister. Everyone knows her as my sister," she said.

But prosecutor Maro Papachristoforoud said "You misled this court by not telling us she was not your biological sister. You are an intelligent educated woman, surely you knew you should have clarified that?"

Sivhidzho: "Nobody sought clarity from me. I was only asked to explain the relationship. I did not expect the question to go this far."

Maphutha has not missed a day in court since the trial started last year. On two occasions she was asked by the judge to identify herself and explain why she was taking notes during the proceedings.

Sivhidzho is out on R15 000 bail.

In December 2006 she and her co-accused, Ntabudzeni Matsenene, allegedly hired Arnold Sello, also an accused, and about six other men to murder her husband, Avhatakali Netshisaulu.

Netshisaulu was hijacked, tortured and burnt to death locked in the boot of his car.

The trial continues.