The widow of Avhatakali Netshisaulu, the son of former City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu, was found guilty, together with her two co-accused, of her husband’s murder at the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Judge Naren Pandya found widow Mulalo Sivhidzo, Ntambudzeni Matzhenene and Arnold Sello guilty of murder, kidnapping and robbery, four years after Netshisaulu’s death in December 2006.
As the guilty verdict was handed down Netshisaulu’s parents broke down in the public gallery, while his widow’s parents walked out of the courtroom, leaving her to face a crowd of photographers alone in the dock.
An application for the extension of her bail was rejected on the grounds that she still had her passport, making her a flight risk.
The state argued it was easy for her family to put together thousands to pay for private legal assistance when the murder trial began. They could do the same to help her keep her freedom. The state further argued if she fled when released, the finalisation of the case could be delayed to the disadvantage of the other two accused.
The matter was adjourned to Wednesday for pre-sentencing arguments.
Last week an expert found that Netshisaulu was burnt alive in his car.
Judge Naren Pandya read out Dr Gina Rowe’s testimony in which she described Netshisaulu’s death, in the boot of his car, as “painful”. — Sapa