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‘Drunk’ sangoma pleads guilty to raping woman and slitting her throat because he feared she would report him

Published Feb 22, 2023


Durban - An Empangeni sangoma has pleaded guilty to a slitting a woman’s throat after he raped her.

Lindokuhle Mzimela, 25, pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of Philile Nzuza, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

In his guilty plea, Mzimela, through his legal representative Amanda Hulley, told the court what had transpired on the evening of December 1, 2022.

Mzimela said he had been with a friend at a tavern and had been consuming alcohol from the morning until 10pm.

“We drank a case of Black Label quarts and 750ml of Smirnoff Vodka. I admit that even though I consumed alcohol on the day in question, I was able to differentiate between right and wrong, and thus act accordingly,” said Mzimela.

He said that when the tavern closed, he and his friend decided to go to another tavern. Along the way, they spotted the victim walking with a man.

Mzimela said he decided to rob them of their cellphones. As he approached them and took out his knife, the man ran away.

“We asked the deceased for a cellphone and she said she did not have one. We decided that since she had no phone, we should take her and rape her.

“I used my knife to threaten her to walk with us and we held her arms without her consent. We took her to an unfinished house structure.

“At the unfinished house structure, I told the deceased to sit on the floor. She sat. I asked her to remove her dress and she refused. I got angry and stabbed her around her stomach and chest area until she removed her dress and underwear.”

He said he raped her. Afterwards, his friend raped her.

“I realised that she would report us and get us arrested. I decided to kill her. I slit her throat with my knife. We waited until she was still, and ran away.”

A few days later, Mzimela said he was arrested and charged.

“When I was arrested, I co-operated immediately with the police. I admitted to committing the offences as I was very remorseful for my actions.”

In a victim impact statement handed to the court by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Mbongeni Mthembu, Nzuza sister Nothi described her sister as a loving mother.

“She left behind her five children which she loved so dearly. My sister was a hard worker, a go-getter.”

Nothi said they were battling to come to terms with her murder.

“She was killed so violently, and left naked. Her rights were violated in so many ways.”

Judge Nompumelelo Radebe is expected to sentence Mzimela this week.