False love used to lure Albino woman
A witness in the murder trial of an albino woman killed for muthi has told the court how she was killed.
Lindokuhle Khumalo, 19, testified in the Mtubatuba High Court in KwaZulu-Natal that Thandazile Mpunzi was lured and stabbed to death three times.
Khumalo told the court that archbishop of New Star Church in Zion Bhekukufa Gumede, who is the alleged mastermind behind the killing, had apparently promised him and two others R25000 each.
Khumalo and Mandla Mabuza, 19, have already been jailed for 20 years after confessing to their part in the murder.
They and Siyabonga Gwala, 18, were apparently promised the money if they found an albino woman.
"He told us that if we got him the body parts of an albino, that would make him rich. At first I was reluctant but I then thought about the money that had been promised to us," he told Judge Phillip Nkosi.
Khumalo testified that a meeting was held at Gumede's home with Mabuza and Gwala where they apparently planned how the crime was to be executed.
"We agreed that one of us should approach the deceased and pursue a love relationship. I was the one who approached her first, but Siyabonga went behind my back and she fell for him instead."
He told the court that Gwala used Gumede's car to fetch the deceased at Esicabazini village on August 5 last year after he had told Mpunzi that they were to celebrate their newly found love.
But, instead, Gwala took the deceased to Gumede's home where he [Gwala] allegedly strangled Mpunzi using a rope.
"We were all in the house including umthandazi [spiritual healer] when Siyabonga strangled her.
"The spiritual healer [Gumede] told us that before we kill her, we must insert a [silver] coin in her mouth."
Asked by prosecutor Noxolo Dube to explain how Mpunzi died, he testified that she was resisting and a knife was used to kill her.
"Siyabonga tried to strangle her but she resisted.
"He then used a knife to stab her to death. I think he stabbed her about three times," Khumalo told the court.
According to the evidence before court, the deceased's mutilated body was found next to Gumede's home buried in a shallow grave.
Her missing private parts, limbs and her skin, which was peeled off her body, were allegedly found at Gumede's house when it was searched.
Gumede and Gwala are still on trial.