Siblings guilty of killing Povlsen

ct court2111 done GUILTY: Francis Kimeze and his sisters and co-accused Maria Povlsen (the first on Kimezes left) and Stella Ssengendo, shortly before he is convicted of the murder of Preben Povlsen. Photo: Michael Walker

Leila Samodien

Justice Writer

A UGANDAN woman and her sister have been convicted of being accessories to her Danish millionaire husband’s murder.

But their brother, self-proclaimed former child soldier Francis Kimeze, has been found guilty of murder after killing Preben Povlsen, 71, at his luxury Gordon’s Bay home in the early hours of January 14, 2008. All three were also convicted for the theft of one of Povlsen’s cars, a Mazda.

Povlsen’s widow Maria wept in the dock as Judge Rosheni Allie neared the end of her judgment, which she read out in the Western Cape High Court yesterday. Her sister Stella Ssengendo and brother appeared stony-faced.

Povlsen’s body was discovered along Otto du Plessis Drive six days after he was killed. He had some 48 stab wounds, a broken neck and his body was partially burnt.

Judge Allie found that the siblings had co-operated with each other to mislead the police, making them believe that on the day of the murder, Povlsen had gone missing after he’d left home to play golf.

They had also tried to cover up the murder by “destroying evidence”. They had cleaned the house of blood, as well as painted and replaced the carpet in Povlsen’s bedroom.

Judge Allie came to the conclusion that all three were involved in Povlsen’s death.

All of them had been involved in purchasing a new carpet for Povlsen’s bedroom on the day of his murder.

Maria Povlsen had also assisted her sister in cleaning the house with a multi-purpose cleaning gel.

Blood had been found in various sections of the house – including the garage, Povlsen’s bedroom and bathroom, on the stairs and in Ssengendo’s flatlet – but had been diluted to such an extent that it lacked sufficient DNA material.

Kimeze, during his testimony, admitted to killing Povlsen but argued that he hadn’t planned it.

Judge Allie, however, said Kimeze had had a “selective memory” when he gave his testimony.

He’d come up, for example, with an elaborate but “unconvincing” account of how he’d entered the Povlsen house through a door that could only open from the inside.

She found that there had been intent on his part to kill Povlsen. Judge Allie said that Povlsen’s body had been found to have a number of superficial wounds, which showed that the deceased had been attacked with the “intention of bringing him to submission”.

But she said the State had not proved that Maria Povlsen, as well as Ssengendo, had been present when her husband was killed.

The State had also been unable, in the case of a murder charge such as this one, to prove that the trio had acted with common purpose.

The two sisters were instead found guilty of being accessories to murder after the fact.

Sentencing procedures are expected to begin tomorrow.

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