Ntlauzana: Why I killed Gasa
Durban - What should have been a relationship in which a successful businessman mentored a young waiter who wanted to emulate him and make his fortune has ended in death for one and a 30-year-prison sentence for the other.
Mbulelo Ntlauzana, 25, pleaded guilty in the Durban Regional Court on Tuesday to killing Umhlanga businessman Nhlanhla Gasa and told his family that he hoped they could find it in their hearts to forgive him.
Gasa, 63, was stabbed 12 times at his home last month. His body was found near the Tugela River a few days later, along with his burnt-out Jaguar.
Ntlauzana faced counts of murder, theft (for stealing R300 from Gasa’s home) and malicious damage to property for burning the car. He pleaded guilty to all counts.
In his statement, read out by his attorney Hycenth Mlotshwa, Ntlauzana claimed he killed Gasa, whom he had known since 2010, after he tried to fondle and kiss him at the businessman’s home.
He described how, when they first met, Gasa told him he was a Durban businessman and later invited him to his house where he offered him a drink.
Ntlauzana said he had hoped Gasa would fund his business idea and mentor him.
“He said I was fit, smart and had a bright future.”
A few days later, he said, Gasa visited him at his workplace and gave him a cellphone.
The two of them, he said, did not speak much or see each other for more than a year while Ntlauzana worked at Steers in Ballito as Gasa was “a busy man”.
“On March 26, he picked me up and we went to his house. He came with a bottle of whiskey and I had a few shots. We were watching the news.
“He then put his hand on my lap. He said he had feelings for me and would support me financially.”
Ntlauzana testified that he was embarrassed and told Gasa that he was straight.
He ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife when Gasa chased him.
“He grabbed me and I stabbed him. I doused his car with petrol and it exploded and my arm was burnt. I went home and told my girlfriend everything.”
He then left Durban for the Eastern Cape with his three children to “spend time” with them and visit a sangoma who would treat his burnt arm.
He returned to KwaZulu-Natal and was arrested in Stanger on April 13.
Under cross-examination by State prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay, Ntlauzana admitted he had asked Gasa to fund his business on more then one occasion and had not approached a bank, but he said he was not upset when Gasa did not provide any money.
Magistrate Anand Maharaj described the murder as “senseless” and “brutal”.
“It was uncalled for. The anger and rage… the photos were gruesome. You tried to cover up and distance yourself from the crime by stealing and destroying a car.”
Throughout the proceedings Gasa’s family comforted each other.
Gasa’s eldest son, Andile, 36, told the court that the family did not accept Ntlauzana’s apology.
He also accused the media of a “smear campaign” for publishing “facts that were made up” about his father.