Cape Town.080128. Zakayo Francis Kimeze arrives at the Strand Magistrates Court this morning, accused for the murder of a Danish man whom his sister was married to. Picture:Sophia Stander Reporter:Natasha Joseph

Cape Town - A former Ugandan child soldier has given a dramatic account of how he murdered Danish millionaire Preben Povlsen just over three years ago.

Self-confessed killer Francis Kimeze, who is defending himself, took the stand in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

He and Povlsen’s Ugandan-born wife, Maria, 34, and her sister, Stella Ssengendo, 43, are on trial for the murder on January 14, 2008.

Kimeze, 39 told the court that he had spoken to Povlsen, 71, a short while before the murder about odd jobs that needed to be done around the house. Povlsen then left, saying he was going to play golf. But before he left he caught Kimeze and his friend, known only as Frank, smoking tik and drinking alcohol in the garage of his Gordon’s Bay home.

“I sat with Frank and we continued doing our thing for some time. But as I was taking a hit (Povlsen) came in by surprise. He became very angry at me (because I was) smoking,” Kimeze said, reading from a handwritten account of what happened that day.

Povlsen and Kimeze started arguing and a scuffle ensued. Kimeze testified that he grabbed Povlsen by the collar of his shirt and Povlsen reached for Kimeze’s knife and stabbed him in the arm.

Kimeze said he was overcome with fear and “lost my mind”. He then repeatedly stabbed Povlsen.

“It was my fault, I was taught not to fight with people and my mother told me the same. But I was (overcome) with fear and I forgot. I got things mixed up,” Kimeze said.

The next thing Kimeze remembered was Frank tearing him away from the fight. Povlsen was lying in a pool of blood and Kimeze had the knife in his hand.

“I panicked… I lifted (Povlsen) into the sitting position hoping that he was still alive… I tried to help him but I realised he was dead,” Kimeze said.

“I didn’t have the guts to face what had happened and the only way out, I thought, to make everything go away was to get rid of the body,” Kimeze said.

Kimeze and Frank decided to mop up the blood, wrap Povlsen’s body in a bed sheet and plastic and dump it in a bushy area off Otto du Plessis Drive in Bloubergstrand.

The State alleges Maria Povlsen and Ssengendo were involved in the murder but they have denied the allegations. Yesterday, Kimeze said he presumed Maria Povlsen was asleep and Ssengendo was in her flatlet on the grounds at the time of the murder.

After having lunch Kimeze drove to his flat in Woodstock with Povlsen’s body in the car boot. He testified that he stabbed Povlsen’s body a few times and poured pool acid on to it.

Around midnight, Frank arrived, and the pair dumped the body.

Povlsen’s partly burnt body was found six days later. He had been stabbed more than 40 times and his neck was broken.

Advocates representing Maria Povlsen and Ssengendo are due to cross-examine Kimeze on Tuesday.

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Cape Argus