Durban - An Inanda man charged with killing his 2-year-old son pleaded not guilty last week, claiming he was robbed and it was the robbers who had stabbed his child.
Simphiwe Ngetshu, 34, told the Durban Regional Court through his attorney that he had taken his wounded child to his part-time employer, Anthea Dallimore, who lived in Durban North, close to where they were attacked in August.
Dallimore testified that Ngetshu seemed more concerned about telling her what happened than getting his child medical attention.
Her husband had taken the pair to their local doctor who declared the boy, Smangaliso Nhlengetwa, dead on arrival.
During his evidence in chief at the start of Ngetshu’s trial, Dr Grant Bekker, said he estimated the boy had been dead for about six hours.
On Friday, Smangaliso’s mother, Balungile Nhlengetwa, testified of her turbulent five-year relationship with Ngetshu which she had ended.
She said Ngetshu was convinced that she, his family and the community were bewitching him and that he had threatened to kill her and set her alight with petrol.
They had two children together and Smangaliso had been living with Ngetshu at the time.
She testified that for three days before her son’s death, she had not seen her son or heard from Ngetshu. She said he did not answer his cellphone, which was eventually switched off.
She had reported her child kidnapped and missing, but the police apparently told her to go home as the child was in his father’s custody.
Under cross-examination, Ngetshu’s attorney, Hycenth Mlotshwa, put it to Nhlengetwa that Ngetshu had gone to look for accommodation and did not answer his cellphone because he was trying to “move on”.
Nhlengetwa was convinced her ex-boyfriend killed their son, saying he had always said he would do something “very bad”, but never said what it would be.
On the night of her child’s death, the police arrived at her house in Amaoti, north of Durban, with Ngetshu. It was only at the police station that she learnt of her son’s death.
She said the police had reported that he had been killed with a screwdriver and that Ngetshu had confessed.
Mlotshwa argued that the police had forced the confession from his client.
Last week, Ngetshu pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and defeating the course of justice by making a false police statement.
In his police statement, read out to the court by his Legal Aid attorney, Mlotshwa, he said on August 23 at 2.30pm he had been walking along Ryde Place in Durban North, carrying his son on his shoulders when they were approached by three men.
“One of the guys grabbed my boy and took him into the bushes. The other two pulled me down and pressed me hard and searched my pockets,” his statement read.
Ngetshu alleged the men stole R85 from his wallet and when he saw the first man running away, he went into the bushes to look for his son who was crying and bleeding from the left side of his chest. He had unsuccessfully tried to stop passing vehicles and then carried him to Dallimore’s house.
Dallimore said her home was a 20 to 30 minute walk from Ryde Place. She told the prosecutor, Krishen Shah, she could not understand why Ngetshu had not stopped at other houses, shops or the pharmacy along the way for help.
The trial continues, with magistrate Trevor Levitt presiding.