Pietermaritzburg 111212 Rosselloty in the high court yesterday Picture: Shan Pillay

Pietermaritzburg - Wiping away tears, Gerald Rosselloty seemed defeated when he came clean with the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday and revealed what had led to the death of his former lover.

Rosselloty had been adamant that he was innocent, even after Tuesday’s guilty verdict of the murder of Nokwazi Ntuli in 2010, and the rape of a six-year-old child in 2006. But he broke down when asked repeatedly by Judge Rishi Seegobin to give him reasons why he should not impose the life sentence.

Rosselloty said that on the night of the murder, he hit Ntuli while they were arguing.

“It happened so quickly, a split second… whatever was done to her was done by my own hands,” he said.

He said she fell against the wall and lay on the floor. He picked her up, put her on the bed and went to the kitchen to drink.

When he returned to the bedroom she was not breathing. He rolled the bed sheet around her and took the mattress, with her on the top, to his bakkie.

He then found himself in the veld along a dirt road not far from where he lived. He set fire to the mattress.

He went home, but could not sleep because he kept on thinking about the body. He then set the duvet alight and left.

Rosselloty still emphatically denies raping the child.

Ntuli’s mother, Busisiwe Madondo, 57, said after the proceedings that when she met Rosselloty, she thought he was a good man because he shook her hand and spoke to her in Zulu.

However, after he was arrested, she knew straight away that he had killed her daughter because he had previously burnt her clothes.

She said his telling all now meant very little to her. “He is regretting this after so many years… nothing will bring back my only child,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Judge Seegobin said in his judgment that the State’s case against the accused was a formidable one. The witnesses who testified were impressive.

Each of them gave their evidence in a simple and straightforward manner, without the need to embellish or exaggerate. In stark contrast, Rosselloty showed himself to be a “pathetic, conniving and pitiful liar whose version has only to be heard to be rejected as being fanciful and disbelievable”.

In pleading not guilty, he elected to remain silent.

“We gained the distinct impression that he was manufacturing a version as the case against him unfolded, the hallmark of a lying witness which he proved himself to be.

“The most surprising thing for us, however, was that most of the accused’s version of what transpired was never put to any of the witnesses who testified,” said the judge.

Of the rape, he said that the child was uninjured when Rosselloty collected her to spend the weekend with him. There was also no evidence to suggest she was not in his presence at the time the rape took place.

Also, there was nothing to indicate she sustained her injuries any other way.

“From the totality of the evidence, we are satisfied that she was not lying about what she said had happened,” he said.

Sentencing is expected to take place on Wednesday. - The Mercury