‘I wanted to sell victim’s phone’
Johannesburg - A man who took part in an apparent satanic ritual killing wanted to return to the scene to get a cellphone, a Johannesburg court heard on Wednesday.
“I was going to sell it for drugs,” Lester Moody told the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.
He said the cellphone belonged to one of the girls who had been set alight in the ritual.
Moody entered into a plea bargain with the State in a bid to get a lesser sentence after he admitted to the crime. In return he is testifying against Lindon Wagner, Robin Harwood, Harvey Isha and Courtney Daniels.
All four have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and assault to cause grievous bodily harm.
Theologo was 18 when she was set alight on a hill behind the Linmeyer swimming pool in Julius Street, southern Johannesburg, on October 21, 2011. She died a week later at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Her friend who was 14 at the time, survived the attack.
Moody said he ran from the hill when he saw Theologo and her friend were on fire. He only saw Wagner running with him.
Wagner had just poured petrol over the girls and set them alight.
Moody told the court Theologo said something to him before the girls were set alight.
“I didn't really hear her but at a later point she got the chance to say she trusted me. She looked at me.”
Moody said as he and Wagner came down the hill, before meeting the rest of the group, he threw his knife into the first stormwater drain they saw.
He then suggested to the group they return for the cellphone. They disagreed. They discussed how Daniels would explain the cut she sustained on her hand during the ritual to her mother.
It was agreed she would tell her mother she had been mugged and her hand was cut when she blocked a knife. He said the group met again the following day. Wagner suggested they should blame Isha for everything, Moody said.
Earlier Moody told the court Isha was not meant to be part of the ritual. Isha had only heard about the ritual on the morning of October 21. He said Wagner suggested Isha return to his country of origin before authorities started looking for him.
Moody said he could not remember whether Isha was present when the suggestion was made.
He and Jeremy King handed themselves to the police on Monday, October 24. They had been told the police were looking for them.
The trial continues. - Sapa