Accused wife pointed out body: witness

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Thenjiwe Griffiths at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Shan Pillay

Durban - Flamboyant murder accused Thenjiwe Griffiths pointed out the body of her dead husband to police when she was arrested.

This was the evidence of Warrant Officer Musa Ndlela at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday when the Griffiths trial resumed.

The 30-year-old Imbali woman is on trial for the murder of her husband, Allan Griffiths, 60, who had worked as a civil engineer for the Empangeni Municipality before being boarded.

The State alleges that Griffiths had met Thenjiwe at a bar in Richards Bay where prostitutes tout for business.

He began a relationship with her and they got married a short while later. He then decided he wanted a divorce and approached an attorney.

He also obtained a domestic violence interdict against her, and against her family members, who had moved into his home following their marriage.

It is alleged that Thenjiwe arranged for her husband to be killed on the night of January 20, 2006, in a staged hijacking near Colenso.

He was later found dead by police. He had been strangled. His car was found abandoned on the N3 highway.

Thenjiwe has denied any involvement in the killing, claiming that she, too, was a victim of the hijacking and was sexually assaulted by the attackers.

Ndlela testified that when he and his colleague, Lieutenant Mebra Nzimande, both of the Pietermaritzburg serious and violent crimes unit, had been called to Colenso to interview Thenjiwe, they were both suspicious of her.

“We were not satisfied with the answers she was giving. She was contradicting herself. We suspected she may have been involved in the hijacking of her husband and we placed her under arrest,” Ndlela said.

Thenjiwe was detained at the Loop Street police station and the next day, she led police back to Colenso where she pointed out the scene along a dirt road. After walking through tall grass and vegetation for a few metres, Nzimande discovered Allan Griffiths’s body, Ndlela said.

Also testifying on Monday was FNB operations manager, Vishan Singh.

Griffiths, who received a large pension payout following his boarding, and also received monthly annuities from his insurances, banked with FNB.

Singh testified that in the months leading up to his death, several cheques were cashed and withdrawals made from Griffiths’s account. These included cashed cheques in amounts ranging between R121 000 and R10 000. “This account was in overdraft almost every month,” Singh said.

Thenjiwe posed for media pictures on Monday dressed in a short, form-fitting dress, knee-high boots and sporting an afro hairstyle. She was accompanied by her mother and cousins.

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