Pretoria - A man accused of killing a Theresa Park woman and her two small children has told the Pretoria High Court that he helped the woman to stage a robbery at her house and when he left, she was still alive.
Sipho Masiqa took the stand in defending, among others, the three murder charges against him.
It is claimed that he, Raymond Matshaba and Bradley Molefe killed Thifhelimbilu “Pauline” Mashau, her eight-month-old baby, Avheani, and her four-year-old daughter, Adivhaho, in June 2010.
The two children were found dead in the house - one in her bed and the other lying face down in the bath. Both were strangled.
The body of their mother was discovered in bush near Ga-Rankuwa two days later. The State claimed she was raped before she was killed as her underwear was pulled down.
All three accused pleaded not guilty to the murders, robbery, abduction and rape.
Judge Bert Bam yesterday provisionally allowed a statement Masiqa had made during a pointing out of the crime scenes. Masiqa claimed earlier that he was assaulted by the police during the pointing out.
The policeman who accompanied Masiqa during the pointing out recorded that Masiqa directed him towards the house in Theresa Park.
Masiqa said he had entered the house with Pauline (the victim), who at the time was carrying a baby and was followed by another child.
According to Masiqa he waited in the lounge as she took the two children into a room. “She came to the sitting room, carrying condoms. We filled them with Shield deodorant.
“She told me she was finished with her children. We then took the plasma TV, laptop and computer and got into her car,” Masiqa told the policeman.
Masiqa then took the policeman to a spot where he “threw the murder knife”, before proceeding to a place among trees near Ga-Rankuwa where he said “he threw the body.”
He told the policeman he first strangled her and then stabbed her twice in the chest with a knife. He left her for dead.
But Masiqa had a different - and even more bizarre - tale to tell when he took the stand. He said he met the woman and one Peter through a friend. A few days before the incident the pair asked him to find them a gun, he said.
Before he could do so, they again phoned him and arranged to meet him at his work at a construction site.
“They came there at lunchtime. The man called Peter told me he and Pauline wanted to speak to me.
“He said they would give me R10 000 if I went to the house and made it look like a robbery. He said I must shift some items inside and keep them for myself. I said I needed to think about it.”
Masiqa said he eventually agreed to stage the fake robbery and they told him he could even keep the woman’s vehicle.
Peter and the woman then told him that the child minder was leaving to go home for the weekend and that they would fetch him that night (the night of the incident).
Masiqa said when they fetched him, the woman had a baby with her. They drove to her house. En route, she fetched her other child from the crèche.
She then took the two children into a bedroom and that was the last time he saw the children, Masiqa said. Meanwhile they sat drinking beer in the lounge, while the woman spoke to her mother on the phone, as she did every night.
The three of them then broke a window, he said, so as to stage a break-in, before they carried the TV set and other items to the woman’s vehicle.
The pair told him that the R10 000 they had promised him, was under the seat of the car.
He went to check and found it.
According to Masiqa, Peter had meanwhile “smeared blood contained in a tube” around the walls in the house.
Masiqa said Peter gave him a pair of boots with which he had to walk around in the garden (to leave footprints). He was then instructed to tie up the pair and tape their mouths closed.
This he did, Masiqa said. After saying his “goodbyes”, he left in the woman’s car, as arranged. He went home and drove the car during the weekend, until he heard over the news that Sunday evening that the mother and her two children had been murdered. He took the TV set to the home of one of his co-accused and left the car at the home of his other co-accused, Masiqa said.
“I was confused and thought maybe Peter had killed them.”