The affordable education loan option
Durban - Kloof resident Therese Carlson on Tuesday bravely faced the two men accused of murdering her fiancé, Rodney Bradley, insisting they were the ones she had seen from her bedroom window about to enter her house moments before Bradley was gunned down.
This is the second time Carlson has come to court to testify.
The first was in April when she testified in aggravation of sentence after Siyane Majozi pleaded guilty to Bradley’s murder. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
On Tuesday, she came back to give crucial evidence against his alleged accomplices, Nhlanhla Hlongwa, 24, and Njabulo Majozi, 25 – a relative of Siyane – who are on trial before Durban High Court Judge Esther Steyn, charged with murder, robbery and attempted robbery relating to the incident in Igwababa Road in April – at a time when upper Highway residents were being targeted by criminals.
Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges although Hlongwa has admitted to carrying out an unrelated housebreaking at the Hillcrest home of Michael Kirby earlier on the same day.
Summarising the State’s case, prosecutor Rea Mina said Hlongwa had been arrested fleeing the scene carrying a bag with items stolen from the house, including Bradley’s cellphone and laptops. On his arrest he had dropped a firearm which had been ballistically linked to the murder.
She said Majozi had been arrested a few days later and had made a statement to the police. A neighbour would testify she had seen him fleeing and the State would use Siyane’s statement.
The State’s case was boosted by the testimony of Carlson who, while emotional, remained adamant throughout cross-examination, that the two in the dock were the ones who had shot Bradley as he went to the front door, armed with a stick, to confront them.
She said Bradley had opened the front door to let the dogs out.
He was chatting to a friend on his cellphone in the bedroom when she saw the two intruders, Hlongwa near the front door and Njabulo Majozi “who made direct eye contact” coming up the steps on to the verandah.
Bradley armed himself with the stick and left the room. She then heard two shots.
“I picked up my cell and the home portable and locked myself in the bathroom. I called the Kloof police station but no-one answered. I called my daughter and told her ‘police, now’ and cut the call. I then phoned my neighbour, who said she had already alerted the police.”
Carlson said she then heard at least three people in her bedroom who demanded she open the door and started trying to break it down. She moved away “just in time” as shots were fired through it.
Then things went quiet. She called her neighbour again who said the police were in the garden.
She unlocked the door and found Bradley shot in the passageway. She attempted to perform CPR but someone said, “he is dead”.
It was suggested, under cross-examination, that Carlson was mistaken about the identity of Njabulo Majozi – who claimed he was waiting at the nearby railway line and did not go into the garden – and that she was confusing him with his brother Siyane because they looked similar.
But Carlson said Njabulo was lying.
“I saw Siyane at his case and I did not recognise him at all because I did not see him at the house on that day. I do and I can tell the difference between them. I saw Njabulo on the verandah.”
The case continues.