Cou­ple in cheat­ing row be­fore death

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LINDILE SIFILE

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.

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