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WEARING a white rosary around his neck, a 19-year-old Woodlands man has told a judge he had no idea why he has been implicated in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl.
The teenager has been charged along with his 16-year-old brother and 22-year-old Kyrone Spalding.
They are being tried in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in connection with the July 2011 rape and murder of Nomathemba Xaba in the Mountain Rise Cemetery.
The 19-year-old and his brother were 17 and 14 at the time of the offence. The 19-year-old may not be named, to protect the identity of his minor brother.
Clutching the rosary at times, the teen told Acting Judge Madlala Xolo on Tuesday he did not know why his friends were lying about his involvement in the crimes.
“I don’t know anything about the girl or how she died. I wasn’t there,” he said.
All three accused have pleaded not guilty. Spalding, however, has since admitted he raped Nomathemba.
Testifying yesterday, Spalding said he was in the company of the brothers when they saw the girl.
The older brother grabbed Nomathemba and pulled her into the bushes, and the rest of them followed. They took turns in raping the girl.
Spalding is not sure whether the girl was alive when he had raped her.
“The brothers were there with me. I raped the girl, but I didn’t kill her,” Spalding said, also admitting that he had taken Mandrax before the incident and was drunk.
A 14-year-old State witness corroborated Spalding’s version and testified two weeks ago that the brothers had admitted the rape and murder of the girl to him.
He told the court the girl – who had been walking through the cemetery dressed in school uniform – was grabbed from behind by the older brother and dragged into the bush.
He said the older brother took off the girl’s panties and invited him to rape her, but he had refused and left the scene.
Later, when the three accused returned “from the bush”, Spalding and the younger of the brothers told him they had “just raped” the girl, while the older brother said he had “touched, kicked and had sex” with her. - Daily News