Durban – The four people on trial for the brutal stabbing and decapitation of Chatsworth mother Desiree Murugan were liars, a Durban High Court judge said on Thursday.
Judge Poyo-Dlwati found all four guilty of murder. However, she acquitted the assistant of the traditional healer who commissioned the murder, who had been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
On August 17, 2014, Falakhe Khumalo, Jimmy Stanley Thelejala, Mlungisi Ndlovu and Mbali Magwala – all minors at the time – lured Murugan to a Shallcross sports ground, where she was stabbed 192 times and then beheaded. She was still alive when her head was severed.
Khumalo turned State witness and is currently serving a life term for his role in the murder.
Traditional healer Sibonakaliso Mbili promised him R2 million for the head of an Indian, white or coloured woman.
Thelejala and Ndlovu helped him kill and decapitate Murugan, while Magwala assisted in selecting her as a victim and washed her head in a bucket after she was murdered.
Mbili’s assistant, Vusumuzi Gumede, as per the State’s case, helped them bury her head the next day.
The story told by Magwala, who also testified in court,was fraught with improbabilities, Judge Poyo-Dlwati said. She listed 17 specific items which she found “highly improbable”.
And the version put to the court by Mbili, the judge said, was also improbable.
“In my view, he lied before this court,” she said.
Sentencing will probably take place in April.