Manqele intends to appeal conviction
Sindisiwe Manqele may be spending Christmas at home and out of jail this year, but it will be without her father, who died a month ago.
Her grandmother passed away earlier this year and her mother died a few years ago, leaving her with only extended family. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old was found guilty at the Johannesburg High Court sitting at the Magistrates’ Court in Randburg for killing her boyfriend, hip-hop star Nkululeko “Flabba” Habedi, at his Alexandra home on March 9.
She pleaded not guilty to the murder‚ saying she acted in self-defence. But Judge Solly Sithole ruled that Manqele admitted she had stabbed Habedi intentionally in order to get away from him. This, he said, proved her actions were premeditated. Manqele’s lawyer, Amanda Vilakazi, said: “We got instructions from our client to appeal the conviction, but that will only be done after the sentencing has been handed down.”
After Judge Sithole handed down judgment on Wednesday, the court was stunned into silence.
It was an emotional moment for Habedi’s mother, Agatha, who wept as judgment was passed.
Manqele wasn’t ready for a night in the holding cells. Dressed in white leggings matched with a long white chiffon blouse, her face covered with a colourful headscarf, she wept uncontrollably and was seen speaking on her cellphone immediately after she learnt of her fate.
Manqele’s family members, who sat in the public gallery, showed no emotion. They quickly left the court and declined to speak to reporters.
Agatha Habedi told City Press she was relieved Manqele had been found guilty.
“After my son was stabbed, I had accepted that Sindi stabbed him unintentionally.
“It was during her cross-examination, when she started painting my son as a monster, that’s when I realised she was not telling the truth about what happened that night,” she said.
Asked if she could forgive Manqele, Habedi said angrily: “How could I forgive someone who has never apologised?”
She said that since her son was killed, not one person from the Manqele family had approached her to apologise, adding that although the judgment had given her justice, nothing would bring her son back.
Habedi’s younger brother, Tshepang, fumed: “She must rot in jail.”
Manqele will be back in court for sentencing on March 9 and 10 next year.
After her application to have her bail extended on Thursday, Manqele’s bail amount was increased to R15 000 from R10 000.
She is only allowed to leave her Kempton Park home with the permission of the investigating officer, has to wear a monitoring bracelet on her wrist, and must report to the Midrand Police Station before 6pm every Monday and Friday.
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