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Durban - A man who allegedly shot dead a colleague at Durban's King Edward VIII Hospital served a four-year sentence for a previous murder conviction.
Magistrate Vanitha Armu, who denied Khulekani Aubrey Ntuli's application to be released on bail, said Ntuli had served four years of an eight-year sentence after being convicted of murder in 1992.
Since his release, Ntuli had worked for nearly 18 years at the hospital before the fateful day of February 28 this year, when he is alleged to have killed Sipho Mfayela, 54.
Armu rejected Ntuli's assertion the exceptional circumstance required for him to be released on bail was the fact that he had been in Johannesburg with his brother on the day of the shooting.
“On the day there were two eyewitnesses. He was extremely well known at the hospital. There is no mistake that he was the person who could have killed Mfayela.”
Ntuli faces charges of murder, pointing a firearm, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
After the shooting, the 43-year old is alleged to have pointed his gun at another staff member before fleeing.
The court was also told that Ntuli suffered from a terminal illness, but the details were not disclosed.
Armu said she believed it was “most unlikely” that Armu was in Johannesburg at the time of the murder, despite his brother testifying that he was.
Ntuli denied that he was on the run for three months, but told the court that he had sought extended leave in February so that he could write an examination he was studying for.
He was arrested in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, in May.
Earlier, the arresting officer Vusi Nkosi testified that Ntuli had a dream before his arrest and was not surprised when police arrived, the Durban Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.
He said Ntuli had told him that the night before “he had a dream of an overflowing river that he was unable to cross”.
“I had a conversation with the accused. He said he was avoiding all vehicles with the ND (Durban) registration,” said Nkosi.
However, Ntuli's lawyer George Pooran told the court that his client intended to plead not guilty, as he was in Johannesburg at the time of the murder and did not know he was wanted by police.
Ntuli was staying with his brother when he was arrested and according to Nkosi had claimed on the day of his arrest to be wearing the same T-shirt that he was wearing when he allegedly killed Mfayela.
Nkosi said Ntuli's brother had stated “blood is thicker than water” when asked by police why he had not told them that Ntuli was staying with him.
Armu remanded Ntuli in custody until September 16 for his next court appearance.