Netshisaulu's mom tells of wife's shopping

Published Aug 14, 2008


By Lebogang Seale

Hours before Avhatakali Netshisaulu was murdered, his wife Mulalo Sivhidzho insisted that his weary mother Dzudzanani accompany her shopping.

But soon after the trio arrived at Joburg's Northgate shopping centre, Sivhidzho "disappeared" for two hours, leaving Dzudzanani and her teenage sister-in-law, Elellani, stranded.

This emerged on the second day in the trial of Sivhidzho and Ntabudzeni Matsenene and Johannes Arnold Sello, her alleged accomplices in Netshisaulu's murder. The three accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Netshisaulu, who was the son of City Press editor-in-chief Mathatha Tsedu, was found burnt beyond recognition in the boot of his car in Muldersdrift, north-west of Joburg, on December 7 2006. He had been alive in the boot when the car was doused with petrol and set alight.

Under cross-examination, Dzudzanani said that on the day of the murder, she had travelled to Joburg from her home outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, on the invitation of her son and Sivhidzho. The couple wanted to show her their new townhouse near Northriding.

At about 5pm, Sivhidzho invited Dzudzanani to go shopping with her, but Dzudzanani declined. Eventually, on Sivhidzho's insistence, Dzudzanani agreed to accompany her and Elellani.

Sivhidzho said she wanted to buy some clothes for the year-end function at her workplace. While at the shop, Sivhidzho "disappeared" for two hours. Leaving Ellelani at the spot where they initially parted with Sivhidzho, Dzudzanani said she went to search for her daughter-in-law.

"I called out her name, but there was no answer," she said, adding that it was already 7.30pm then. At about 7.45pm a furious Avhatakali called, demanding to know why the women had not returned home.

Dzudzanani said she asked Elellani to look for Sivhidzho again. It was at that time that Dzudzanani spotted Sivhidzho inside the store.

"When I stared at her, she looked down. I then asked her where the clothes she wanted to buy were. She said they didn't fit her. She never gave any explanation," Dzudzanani recalled.

Shortly after arriving at home at 8pm, Avhatakali said he wanted to meet Matsenene in Honeydew about some public payphones business. At 8.20pm, she said, she received a call from Netshisaulu wanting to speak to Sivhidzho.

"Before I asked, she told me that Avhatakali said his car was being sandwiched between two vehicles with no registration numbers. He said he was apparently being hijacked," she recalled.

Dzudzanani said she asked if Sivhidzho had asked what road Netshisaulu had been driving on, but she said she didn't.

On Dzudzanani's advice, Sivhidzho managed to get Matsenene's number from Netshisaulu's work cellphone. Matsenene said, however, that he had not seen Netshisaulu.

The trial continues.

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