Moment of truth for rape, murder accused
Rape and murder accused Gerald Rosselloty pleaded his innocence on Monday while presenting his closing argument, insisting he was not a child molester nor a killer.
Rosselloty pleaded with Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Rishi Seegobin to use his common sense and not to allow public “anger” to convict an innocent man – one who was simply “the most available target”.
The 35-year-old faces charges for the rape of a six-year-old girl who was in his care on September 2, 2006, as well as the murder of his girlfriend, Nokwazi Ntuli, on the night of April 16, 2010.
The State alleged that Rosselloty and Ntuli were involved in an altercation leading to Ntuli’s death at Rosselloty’s simplex in Monzali Drive, Hilton.
It is alleged that in an attempt to cover up what had happened, Rosselloty set fire to the house and drove her body to an isolated area, where he set it alight.
Rosselloty has denied any involvement in Ntuli’s murder, claiming he was on his way to a Mighty Men conference at the time.
Rosselloty has also pleaded not guilty to the rape, and claims the girl’s mother, with whom he had previously enjoyed a relationship, “schooled” her daughter to implicate him in the crime.
The girl, who testified at the trial and identified Rosselloty as her rapist, is now aged 12 and underwent surgery after the attack owing to the severity of her injuries.
Rosselloty claimed that the girl was raped by another person, but could not account for the time in which it was done, because the child was with him on the day of the attack. He could also not account for the injuries the child had sustained.
Rosselloty opted to defend himself after firing his legal aid attorney.
Presenting his argument, Rosselloty said he was an innocent man.
“I am not a child molester or a killer. A sad and sordid tale has been played out here in court, and one cannot help but feel sad for the child and for Nokwazi… but it is also sad for me,” Rosselloty said.
He said the State had not proven its case against him beyond all reasonable doubt, and that the bulk of the evidence against him was “overwhelmingly uncertain”.
“I ask the court one favour; I ask that the court use its common sense in evaluating the evidence. There has been a horrible story of the pain and terror that the child and Nokwazi went through, and there is profound anger directed at anyone that could treat their fellow human beings in that way… but on the face of it, I am the most available target. People want somebody to pay, and I am the one they picked,” he said.
Rosselloty submitted that the prosecutor in the case, Dorian Paver, was misled to offer him as a sacrifice, which compounded the mistakes of the SAPS in their investigations.
He described the evidence of State witnesses as “exaggerated and misleading”
Rosselloty admitted that he was in an intimate relationship with Ntuli, as well as several other women, including his current girlfriend and mother of his child, Jogayle Wahl, at the same time, but denied that this led to him wanting to kill Ntuli.
“What is it about you that had women falling all over themselves for you, perhaps your personality?” Judge Seegobin asked, to which Rosselloty had no response.
Paver submitted in his argument that Rosselloty’s version of events did not corroborate the evidence of any of the witnesses, and that his failure to explain how and where the child sustained her injuries pointed to his guilt.
Paver said the only inference that could be drawn with regard to the murder charge, was that Rosselloty was responsible for Ntuli’s death.
“He was in a relationship with her. It was a stormy one. She was in his company a short while before her death,” Paver said.
The prosecutor said that movements through the simplex gate at 13 Callanish, access to which is controlled with the remote allocated to Rosselloty’s unit, were consistent with Ntuli being removed after she was killed, and Rosselloty returning and then leaving again some minutes later.
Traces of her blood were also found in his vehicle.
Rosselloty also admitted to lying about his whereabouts on the night of the murder.
Judge Seegobin will deliver judgment on Tuesday.