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Johannesburg - There were jeers and laughter as a woman accused of murdering her nephew broke down in court during cross-examination on Tuesday.
Many of those in the public gallery - most of them ANC Women’s League members - laughed as Engelina Xolilizwe sat sobbing, her chest heaving, during her court appearance.
The members of the public murmured that she was trying to pull off a stunt, while others opined that she was nothing but a criminal.
“She is crying crocodile tears, she is actually happy,” one said at the Johannesburg High Court sitting at the Protea Magistrate’s Court.
The 49-year-old Tembisa woman and her co-accused Edwin Matloma are alleged to have locked her nephew, 16-year-old Thokozani Sibiya, in a bedroom on October 12 last year. The teenager was allegedly assaulted with a car jack, stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver, whipped with a sjambok and struck with the iron handle of an axe.
Xolilizwe is also alleged to have ordered that the teenager be bound hands and feet before dumping his body in a dam in Midrand.
The 49-year-old told the court she had arrived home in mid-October last year and found the stock in her tuckshop finished although there was no money.
Thokozani allegedly gave her R450 instead of the R1 500 she expected and told her he had bought nyaope, lent some of the money to friends and gambled with the rest.
Xolilizwe said she had been angry and hit him with a sjambok. The teenager then fought her. She denied killing her nephew.
Thokozani was an orphan who Xolilizwe had raised since he was a year old.
She said her nephew’s confession made her very angry and she had ordered that he be bound and put in the boot of her car. Her intention was only to scare him.
The trial continues.