Western Cape judge not impressed with ‘allergies’ delaying trial of double murder-accused

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Western Cape judge not impressed with 'allergies' delaying trial of double murder-accused
Western Cape judge not impressed with 'allergies' delaying trial of double murder-accused

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Acting Judge Brian Hack was not pleased to hear one of the accused in the murder of Ottery couple Rugeya and Riedwaan Addinall was not in court on Wednesday because he had allergies.

The court heard the accused sent word by way of a photo of a bottle of Allergex, and a vague doctor’s note obtained hours before the trial.

The note said he was booked off sick with a “medical condition”.

“The information before me is insufficient,” said Hack. “At best, it seems he might be suffering from some allergy or hay fever. This is unacceptable.

“I want you to make it very clear to him that I regard this as very inadequate,” he added, not concealing his annoyance.

“If he continues delaying without a legitimate reason, his bail will be revoked,” warned Hack.

Lwazi Ntsibantsiba and Gcinile Ngcobela are midway through their trial for the murders of the Addinalls at their home on 5 January 2019. They pleaded not guilty.

Despite being in attendance, Ngcobela was hardly mentioned on the day.

The trial has been peppered with delays, ranging from buses running late to a witness not being available because he was in a delivery van and had not taken his cellphone with him so was not answering calls to go to court to testify.

So far, the bunged-up accused, Ntsibantsiba, had testified he was enticed from his holiday job while still in school to help Ngcobela keep up with a good run of contracts in his painting and home maintenance business.

On the day of the murder, Ntsibantsiba was supposed to take over Ngcobela’s duties as a gardener, handyman, and general assistant for the elderly couple. This was so that Ngcobela could rush off to attend to a quote for a new painting job.

Ntsibantsiba testified Ngcobela owed him pay for previous painting work, and he had almost written it off entirely after he had to go through Christmas and New Year without the pay, he was expecting.

He had planned to go to the Eastern Cape to visit family with the money, and he and his school friends were clubbing money for a beach bash. All of this was ruined when he was not paid and Ngcobela ducked his phone calls.

He said he only went with Ngcobela to the Addinalls because Ngcobela said the deposit from the painting job he was going to get while Ntsibantsiba covered for him would cover the pay he was owed.

Ntsibantsiba added on the day of the job; he sat on a veld as instructed because Ngcobela knew the Addinalls did not like strangers in their house.

He had worked for them for years, so he felt he should explain himself first.

He said he needed to go and tell them that Ntsibantsiba would stand in for him for the day and he would call him over once he had smoothed everything over with them.

Ntsibantsiba added he waited the entire day, bored and playing with his phone until it went flat. He was only taken to the house when Ngcobile returned from the local supermarket carrying some groceries the Addinalls asked him to fetch.

He said when they got to the house, the Addinalls were dead.

They were strangled, and Rugeya had rat poison in her mouth too.

Ngcobela said he was away the whole time at the painting job, and when he got back, he found the Addinalls dead.

Ntsibantsiba added the reason the police found his fingerprints on a bottle of Jive cold drink was because Ngcobela told him to take a sip of the cold drink to steady his nerves on seeing the pensioners dead.

Hack said he was fed-up with delays in the trial and added if it was not for Christmas coming up, he would immediately have revoked Ntsibantsiba’s bail.

Instead, he gave him until Thursday to arrive at court, otherwise, he would have his bail revoked.

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