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Durban - A DURBAN man accused of murdering his stepmother and his lover with an iron rod and hammer has claimed that police forced him at gunpoint to point out the alleged crime scene.
In the Durban High Court on Tuesday, Siphosethu Buthelezi, 26, pleaded not guilty to killing his stepmother, Sibongile Thusi, and her niece, Nompumelelo Mabaso.
The women had run a taxi business that had been owned by his late father.
The State alleged that last December 14, the women had been asleep in the home they shared with Buthelezi when they were allegedly assaulted with an iron rod and hammer.
Buthelezi, with the help of an accomplice, then allegedly wrapped the bodies in duvets and black plastic before taking them in a car to Inanda, near the Molweni cemetery.
“The bodies were placed seated in the vehicle, which was pushed down a steep slope in the bush,” the indictment reads.
The cause of the deaths was “blunt force head injury”.
During cross-examination on Tuesday, Buthelezi said he had been having a “secret love affair” with Mabaso and that her boyfriend, a police constable, had found out about it.
“She told me that he now knew about the affair and he had told her that he would kill both of us,” he said, adding he then moved from his home in Phoenix to Inanda because he feared for his life.
Buthelezi told the court that he did not know anything about the murders.
“I don’t know who killed Nompumelelo, but I think that it was (the policeman) that had threatened to kill us after he had found out about the affair,” he said.
He also said the “pointing out notes” read out in court did not reflect his version of what had happened because he had been forced to point out the scene of the crime by police.
An extract from the notes reads: “This is the spot where Xolani and I threw a blanket with blood stains and hammer with blood stains used to assault deceaseds (sic).”
Buthelezi claimed he had pointed out everything recorded in the notes at gunpoint and only because he had feared for his life.
“I don’t know anything about this, even the spots that I pointed out I knew nothing about,” he told the court.
Prosecutor Vera Alamchand put it to Buthelezi that it was strange that although the death threat had been made to Buthelezi and his lover, the latter was the only one killed.
Alamchand said two young women had previously testified that Buthelezi had been in the Phoenix home on the day of the murder and that they had heard his voice as well as his name being mentioned.
But Buthelezi disputed this, saying that he had been at his Matendeni, Inanda, home at the time.
He said “people’s voices are similar”.
The trial continues on Thursday.