Man tells of beheading woman for cash
Durban - As many celebrated Diwali on Wednesday, the Festival of Lights, which spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil, Desiree Murugan’s family instead sat in the Durban High Court and heard how she was lured to her gruesome death.
State witness, Falakhe Khumalo, serving a life sentence for his role in Murugan’s murder in August 2014, testified that another woman was initially chosen to be beheaded for a R2 million payout.
He said the money was apparently promised by one of the five accused, Sibonakaliso Mbili, a traditional healer, if he brought Mbili the head of an Indian, coloured or white female.
Mbili, 32, and three minors, including a 16-year-old girl, had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to kill and killing Murugan. Mbili’s assistant, Vusumuzi Gumede, 30, pleaded not guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact to the crime of murder.
Murugan had been lured to a sports ground in Shallcross where she was stabbed 192 times and beheaded. Her body was found by municipal staff and her head was found a few days later in the Imfume area on the South Coast.
Khumalo told Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati that Mbili had given seven portions of muti for the seven people involved in getting him the woman’s head. Mbili apparently told him the muti would make them brave and prevent them from being caught by the police.
Khumalo said he had told his friends about the R2m and they, including the three minor accused, agreed to help.
He said they spent days preparing and had planned to find a prostitute to kill.
The 16-year-old girl was tasked to find one.
While they were all at the girl’s house, she had brought home a coloured prostitute whom they all apparently agreed would not leave the house alive. Another State witness, whom Khumalo referred to only as “Styles”, told them they could not kill her because many people would have seen her arrive at the house that afternoon.
“We were unhappy about not killing her because we were in a rush to get the money, but we realised that people had seen her coming to the house,” Khumalo testified.
Three days later, the three minors apparently found Murugan, whom Khumalo and one of the minor accused apparently approached that night. He said she had asked the minor accused to keep guard.
“She asked for the money from me and I gave her R100 and she did what we agreed to.” When we finished (the minor) approached from behind. This shocked her seeing him there. I prevented her from screaming by covering her mouth and (the minor) took out the knife from his backpack,” he testified.
“I threw her on to the ground. (The minor) then stabbed her until she died. I stabbed her twice to make sure she was dead and then dragged her to another (sports) ground. Accused 1, the 19-year-old, took out the bush knife and started chopping her on the neck. I took the bush knife and carried on chopping her. Accused 2, the 16-year-old boy, then approached and finished it off by taking off her head.”
Khumalo said he took the head and put it into a plastic bag and put into the backpack, which they all agreed the 16-year-old would carry because he did not have any blood on him.
He said they went to the girl’s house where she washed the head and the next morning, it was taken to the traditional healer in Imfume.
Khumalo alleged Mbili cut open the head and removed certain parts which were placed into two baby formula tins. He said Gumede dug a hole and buried the tins. When Khumalo asked about the money, Mbili apparently told them to return later, but six people were arrested before they could be paid.
The trial continues.
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