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Man kills girlfriend during drunken row

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A farmworker has confessed to stabbing his girlfriend to death and later hacking her to pieces and hiding some parts of her body under his bed.

Zakhele Nkosi got into a row with Sibongile Nzama during a drinking spree and, when he plunged the knife into Nzama, below the chest, she said to him: “You killed me.”

These were some of the gruesome details that emerged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday when Nkosi, 38, pleaded guilty to murder.

In his plea statement before Judge Thoba Poyo Dlwati, Nkosi, of Dumbe, in the Paulpietersburg area, said he and Nzama had been involved in a relationship for many years and had lived together.

He said that on the day of the murder, he and Nzama had been drinking alcohol together from 4pm, after buying two and a half cases of beer for R280.

“Between 8pm and 9pm we had an argument regarding finances. I asked her not to spend all the money, but to keep some for bus fare. A fight broke out between us,” Nkosi said.

He explained that he and Nzama were grabbing, hitting and punching each other and he then grabbed a bread knife from the cupboard and stabbed her once below her chest.

“After I stabbed her, she looked at me and said: ‘You killed me,’ and then she fell down. I touched her and noticed she wasn’t breathing. I covered her with a blanket. I was scared and left her there hoping she would wake up,” Nkosi said.

Nkosi said he left the house and could not remember the exact day when he returned. He then found Nzama still lying in the same position he had left her in, on the floor next to the bed, covered in the blanket.

“On May 3 I feared I would be arrested. To avoid this I knew I had to conceal the body and bury it later,” he said.

Nkosi then dismembered Nzama’s body by cutting off her legs, which he disposed of in the neighbour’s pit toilet.

He hacked Nzama’s torso into several pieces, which he placed in a plastic bag and left under the bed for burial later.

Two days later, Nkosi said, he told his mother and brother what he had done.

“I was planning to commit suicide, but my brother noticed the string in my pocket and removed it,” he said.

His mother advised him to surrender to police, which he did. Nkosi pointed out Nzama’s body parts to police on the day of his arrest. However, one of Nzama’s legs was never recovered.

“I knew that it was wrong to kill someone and I am truly remorseful for my actions,” Nkosi told the court.

Legal representatives for the State and the defence will submit arguments for sentencing on Friday.

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