Rattray murder suspect’s confession stands

A confession by a gangster that he took part in the raid in which historian David Rattray was murdered was ruled as admissible evidence against him in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday.

Sibonele Xolani Mpanza (28) contested the confession, and said he was also forced to point out spots of the gang raid on Rattray’s famous Fugitive’s Drift Lodge on January 26 2006.

However, after a long trial within a trial, Judge Kate Pillay ruled that Mpanza’s confession and pointing-out had been made voluntarily.

Mpanza and co-accused Simphiwe Ndlovu (25) have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Rattray and the attempted robbery of Rattray and a receptionist, Carol Zulu.

Mpanza was arrested at a remote hide-out about six weeks after the murder. Police were told where he was hiding by an informer.

The narrative and photographs of Mpanza pointing out spots includes him showing the police where gang members accosted Zulu in her office.

”There was a black lady. We all pointed guns at her and Fethu Nkwanyane asked her where the money was. She answered that the money was with her boss.

”We took the lady to show the house and boss. After a short while, I heard two shots. I asked why they shot. I did not get an answer from inside the house.

”I told Simphiwe, Desperado Ngobese and Mfanalo Mtshali to run away … we ran away. The next day I heard news that the owner was shot by robbers and that he had passed away,” Mpanza said.

The trial continues on Friday. — Sapa

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