15/04/2008 21:27 - (SA)
Pretoria - A farm worker who escaped the gallows for murder 23 years ago faces a possible life sentence after pleading guilty in Pretoria High Court to another charge of murder.
Acting Judge Peter Mabuse convicted Amos Zulu, 57, of Bapsfontein on Tuesday of murdering his 76-year-old employer, Johanna Maria Erasmus, in February last year.
Zulu took her cellphone on her farm in Welbekend near Bronkhorstspruit.
He pleaded guilty to the charges, but denied raping Erasmus or alternatively violating her body.
Mabuse found Zulu guilty of violating a corpse after hearing DNA evidence.
The judge said there were no witnesses to the attack and it was possible that Zulu's semen could have been deposited inside his victim after she had died.
Became angry in argument
The State alleged that Zulu attacked his employer, who was alone at the farm that day, at a stable and raped her before slitting her throat with an okapi knife.
Zulu said in a statement he attacked Erasmus with a knife that was in his pocket after becoming angry during an argument.
The argument ensued when she asked him why he had locked up the goats so early, and he told her he had just arrived at the farm.
Zulu said he continued with his usual daily duties after slitting Erasmus's throat and taking her cellphone.
Zulu has a long list of previous convictions, dating back to 1970, when he was first convicted of assault and cautioned.
The trial was postponed to June 2 for a pre-sentencing report by a probation officer.
Zulu will remain in custody.