Court hears of dagga, vodka in satanic killing
The effect of using dagga and vodka in succession was graphically explained to a Johannesburg court on Tuesday by murder-accused Harvey Isha.
“When I am lying in bed after taking them, the ceiling would look like it is spinning... you feel like vomiting at the same time,” Isha told the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.
He was being cross-examined by Gail Sidwell, lawyer for one of his co-accused Robin Harwood.
Isha, 24, is on trial with Harwood, Lindon Wagner, and Courtney Daniels for the murder of Kirsty Theologo, attempted murder of her friend, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Two other accused, Jeremy King and Lester Moody, confessed to the crime and were each sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment, five of them suspended.
Theologo, 18, and her friend, who was 14 at the time, were tied up, doused with petrol, and set alight on a hill in Linmeyer, south of Johannesburg, on October 21, 2011. Theologo died in hospital but her friend survived.
Isha testified that he had no idea about the plan to “sacrifice” Theologo and her friend in an apparent satanic ritual on the hill that day.
He told the court he and the group had been smoking dagga and later drank vodka mixed with juice as they sat around a fire on the hill.
He later ran away when Wagner poured petrol onto Theologo and her friend and set them alight.
Sidwell was trying to get Isha to explain the state of a person who had smoked dagga and drank vodka.
Isha said the effects of both substances differed according to an individual's system.
“If you smoke dagga and you just sit, you will feel relaxed, but if you take a walk you will become more energetic.”
Judge Geraldine Borchers asked Isha: “On what you said about the ceiling spinning and the feeling of vomiting... that is an unpleasant feeling don't you think? Is that a hangover?”
Enrico Guarneri, for Daniels, stood up and explained what a hangover was to Borchers.
“Not to sound as if I am giving evidence, my lady, but a hangover is that feeling you get when you wake up the following day,” said Guarneri, making fellow lawyers giggle in response.
Isha said vodka taken on its own made one “aggressive”, while it made one much more drunk when taken with dagga.
Under cross-examination by Guarneri, Isha said a person who smoked dagga all the time would be less affected than someone who did not smoke it regularly.
He told the court that he drank alcohol regularly, and on every weekend.