/ 28 January 2008

Netshisaulu case postponed to July

The trial of three people accused of the murder of Avhatakali Netshisaulu, son of City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu, was postponed to July 28 at the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

Initially six people — Netshisaulu’s widow, Mulalo Sivhidzo, Nthambudzeni Matzhenene (29), Sello Johannes Arnold (28), Rodney Makhura (32), Setshaba Fokane (36) and Mashudu Mutobvu (36) — faced charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and malicious damage to property.

Prosecutor Maro Papachristoforou said the state withdrew charges against three of the six because they could not link them to the case.

Makhura, Fokane and Mutobvu were released in July last year.

Matzhenene and Sello are in custody while Sivhidzo is out on bail of R15 000.

Her co-accused have abandoned their bail application. Papachristoforou said they could, however, still apply for bail if they wished to do so.

Dressed in a yellow two-piece suit with matching shoes, Sivhidzo held her head up as she walked to the stand in the dock.

She listened attentively as Judge Geraldine Bosch read the bail conditions to her before postponing the case.

The state alleges that Sivhidzo arranged with Matzhenene to hire men to kill her husband and they agreed to kill him on December 7 2006.

She promised to pay Matzhenene R4 000 for his assistance.

Matzhenene and Netshisaulu were involved in a joint venture of setting up pay phones at Zandspruit near Honeydew.

On December 7 2006, Sivhidzo drove to meet Matzhenene — in the car her husband would be using later in the evening. The hit men took note of the car registration number and waited for Netshisaulu.

Netshisaulu went to meet Matzhenene at a filling station in Zandspruit regarding their payphone business.

When he failed to arrive, Netshisaulu drove back, with the hit men following him in a Toyota Venture.

They forced him off the road in Nooitgedacht near Krugersdorp.

He was assaulted with bricks, tied up and bundled into the boot of his car, which was later doused with petrol and set alight.

The state further alleges that during the assault Netshisaulu was robbed of his cellphone, wallet, bank cards, groceries and money.

More that 50 witnesses, including a 10-year-old, are expected to testify against the accused. — Sapa