Man­qele in­tends to ap­peal con­vic­tion

CityPress - - News - NTOMBI­ZODWA MAKHOBA ntombi­zodwa@city­

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.

TALK TO US Do you agree with Judge Sit­hole’s rul­ing against Man­qele?

SMS your thoughts to 35697 us­ing the key­word FLABBA. SMSes cost R1.50. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince

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