Guilty plea expected in girlfriend slaying

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Durban - A 24-year-old Durban man charged with the murder of his nine-months pregnant girlfriend is expected to plead guilty to the murder next month.

Lwazi Gumede is alleged to have struck Sanelisiwe Mkhize, 22, with an axe before burning and chopping up her body in February.

Mkhize went missing on February 20. On April 4, Gumede was arrested after her disappearance and murder.

On the day of his arrest, Gumede identified what was believed to be some of Mkhize’s remains in thick bush in Chesterville’s Road 25.

Her head and the child she had been pregnant with have not been found.

On Friday at the Durban Magistrate’s Court, Gumede had been expected to plead guilty to the murder and a statement he had made to his attorney, Mr Sigcawu, was expected to be read in court.

However, Sigcawu told magistrate Anand Maharaj his client could not plead until the DNA results had confirmed the remains were indeed Mkhize’s.

“The remains – bones – could belong to the deceased or to animals. DNA is important, we need to have it to corroborate with his confession,” said Sigcawu.

Maharaj asked Sigcawu why he would think the remains could belong to an animal.

“If a person confesses that he disposed of a body in a certain way and that person takes the police to place X to show the police, saying this is where X, Y and Z are, why would you assume that the remains are that of an animal?” Maharaj asked.

Senior public prosecutor Logan Reddy told the court the remains were in Pretoria awaiting DNA testing and the pro- cess was being fast-tracked.

Maharaj told the people in the gallery, who had become visibly unhappy at the news of the adjournment, that State DNA tests normally took six months to a year. He said the court needed to satisfy Sigcawu and Gumede by getting the results of the DNA to them before Gumede’s guilty plea.

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