A woman charged with murdering her husband yesterday denied hiring a hitman to kill him.
Nomqondiso Tembu, 50, was testifying in her bail application in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court.
State prosecutor Nondumiso James told Tembu that the state had lined up witnesses who would testify in the trial that she had “killed [her] husband because he was spending his salary on alcohol”.
The widow, who was still wearing her wedding ring, stood in the witness box and responded: “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Her late husband, Vusumzi Tembu, who worked in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court, was shot dead on February 14.
His body was found with a bullet wound near the Sisa Dukashe Stadium. He had been returning home from watching the Premier Soccer League game between Chippa United and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Tembu appeared before magistrate Fezeka Monakali alongside her co-accused Simphiwe Wili, 47, and Busiswa Nabi, 41.
The court, as in previous hearings, was packed to capacity with residents, prosecutors from other courts, clerks and court orderlies, all wanting to hear the evidence first-hand.
The mother of three said she would plead not guilty to the murder of her husband.
It is the state’s case that she hired Wili to kill her husband.
The prosecutor stated in court yesterday that Tembu had also introduced Nabi, who was going through a difficult time in her marriage with her husband Ludumo Nabi, to Wili.
“[Nabi] saw you in Highway [taxi rank] wearing your mourning clothes. She approached you and said ‘I would like to be like you’.
“You then informed her that you had killed your husband and if she wanted to kill her husband she must inform you. You then exchanged numbers,” James said.
“I don’t recall uttering those words,” Tembu said.
James responded: “You invited her [Nabi] to your house. She left her home to stay with you.”
“She came to stay with me so that her child could be close to school,” Tembu responded.
James shot down this submission, saying the two stayed together so they could carefully execute the plot without it backfiring on them.
“You organised a person for her who would assist her to kill her husband. You told her you knew a top professional hitman who would do the job for R120000 and that the money would be available after all the policies had paid out,” James said, to which Tembu responded: “I don’t remember saying this to Busi.”
Wili took the stand and vehemently denied knowing Tembu. He denied that he was introduced to Nabi as a hitman by Tembu. He said Nabi was his girlfriend.
His attorney, Ntsikelelo Manyisane, asked him to tell the court about the day he was arrested.
“I was in Highway drinking with my aunt.
“The police took me to their offices in town and they asked me questions while beating me up,” Wili said.
“Tell the court more about this torture,” Manyisane asked.
“Were you sober?”
“I was still drunk. They handcuffed me from the back and made me sit in a chair. They carried a plastic bag which they use to store evidence and sprayed teargas in it,” Wili said.
“They then covered my head and face with it and strangled me with it. I couldn’t breathe. I fell on the floor and they kicked me in the chest and ribs because I told them I did not know anything about murder.”
Manyisane said Wili was denied a doctor while in custody and submitted a letter to court which he sent to the prison requesting Wili’s medical records following the alleged torture.
Manyisane said officials had not responded to him.
The bail application continues this morning. —