Couple in cheating row before death
A WEEK before Zestah September was allegedly killed by her soldier boyfriend who then set her body alight, the couple had a row over cheating allegations.
Witnesses say they quarrelled over prostitutes and pregnancy in front of their friends at a Christmas celebration.
Palesa Mokhele, a friend, told the Johannesburg’s High Court yesterday how Themba Ngubeni lost his temper when September told him she was neither interested in having a baby with him nor marrying him.
This allegedly took place at Mokhele’s house in Pretoria in December 2015 where she and her husband hosted friends for lunch.
September’s charred body was found on December 31, 2015 along the N12 near Lenasia. Her boyfriend confessed to having found his hands around her neck after an argument about her alleged cheating.
In court documents, the State alleged Ngubeni assaulted and strangled September at his Trafalgar Flats in Protea Glen, Soweto, on December 29. He then allegedly changed his bloodied clothes and turned the mattress around. He is said to have waited until morning before he used her car to go and buy petrol and then set her body alight. He then reported her missing to the police.
Ngubeni, 32, is charged with murder and defeating and obstructing the course of justice and violation of a corpse.
Yesterday, Mokhele told the court he met the couple for the first time when they came to her house for celebrations with the accused’s two children. Mokhele’s husband, Tshepo, and the accused were colleagues and had been deployed in North West at the time.
Mokhele said the party had been going fine until the accused saw the deceased drinking a cider.
“There was a moment when the accused out of the blue became upset and told her not to drink because she was pregnant. The deceased said she was not pregnant and even if she was, she would abort the child,” said Mokhele.
Other guests tried to calm the couple down.
Mokhele said it was on the same night that she learnt that the couple were not married and the children they had brought were the accused’s.
Mokhele said another outburst occurred when September told Ngubeni in front of the guests she was not willing to be his wife because he was a cheat and had been sleeping with prostitutes.
“The conversation took a turn and they went inside to talk and later came outside and sat on the lawn.
“It did not seem like things were getting better and they wanted to leave. We told them to sleep over, or leave without the children because they didn’t look fine.”
The couple slept over and left the following morning. Mokhele said September had confided in her that doctors had told her that it would be medically impossible for her to have a child.
The trial continues today.