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Defence witness in the trial of murdered Ottery couple admits to lying under oath

STRANGLED: Rugaya and Riedewaan Addinall, both 82, found slain their home. Picture: Supplied

STRANGLED: Rugaya and Riedewaan Addinall, both 82, found slain their home. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 16, 2023

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Cape Town - Two men accused of killing an elderly couple in their home in 2019 appeared in the Western Cape High Court where acting Judge Brian Hack said the defence’s case would proceed today.

Gcinilelitha Ngcobelothe and Lwazi Ntsibantsiba are facing charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, for allegedly killing Rugeya and Riedwaan Addinall in their home on January 5, 2019 in Ottery.

The State alleged that the two men strangled the couple after ligatures were tied around their necks. It has since been revealed that rat poison pellets were found in Rugeya’s mouth when her body was found.

They were both 82 years old.

Yesterday, a defence witness for Ngcobelothe admitted that he lied under oath. He had initially testified that he saw Ngcobelothe in a different location on the day the couple were killed.

Dressed in a red T-shirt, skinny jeans, white socks and Nike slippers, the man agreed that he had no reason to lie to the court but was in fact lying when he testified that he saw Ngcobelothe at his second job on the day of the murder.

Defence lawyer advocate Mohamed Sibda said he would argue the witness had changed his version after being pressured by police officers, but his response was, “Honestly, I don’t want to be here anymore.” He said constantly being called to testify caused too many problems in his personal life.

The defence lawyer then asked him if he could assist in locating another defence witness for his client, but Judge Hack said it was “inappropriate” to ask a witness to help track down another possible witness.

The judge then concluded proceedings to make it clear the trial would proceed without any kind of delays by the defence or the State today.

“If there are to be any witnesses tomorrow and if there is going to be an application for a postponement because a witness is not available, I am giving you my prima facie view, that application is going to have to be very well argued … with a completed, detailed explanation. In the absence of any further witnesses tomorrow we will determine a date for final arguments,” Hack said.

Both Ngcobelothe and Ntsibantsiba are out on bail.

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Cape Argus