Wednesday, 11 February 2009

'Give me space'

10/02/2009 22:21 - (SA)

Mike van Rooyen

Bloemfontein - While police were telling Mark Hume about a charred body found in a burnt-out car near Kestell in the Free State, he received an SMS from his wife's cellphone, he told the Free State High Court on Tuesday.

The state says DNA testing determined that it was the body of Ballito estate agent Lynne Hume in the car. The car belonged to her.

The SMS read: "I can't talk to you now. I am very angry. I made a booking at a spa in Cape Town for a month. I'm using money from my business account. Give me space."

Mark Hume was testifying on Tuesday in the trial of Muzi Kunene, 45, Muikeleni Khoza, 26, and Mphakamiseni Khumalo, 21, who face charges that they abducted Hume, a Bloemfontein native, on October 23, 2007, murdered her and committed fraud totalling R20 000 with her cheques.

'Worked for the NIA'

Kunene, who claims he worked for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), is also accused of fraud of R637 350 because he allegedly wrote a cheque for this amount for the rent on a luxury Salt Rock flat, which his bank refused to honour.

Hume testified that his wife was very excited about clinching the extraordinary deal. The cheque was prepayment for three years' rental on the flat at the Simbithi golf estate.

He said Lynne was impressed by Kunene. He said he also met Kunene at the offices he shared with his wife. He found him well-dressed and well-spoken.

When he phoned his wife on October 23 to ask her to come to lunch at home with their daughter, her cellphone rang unanswered.

When he later returned a missed call, Kunene answered and said he had missed an appointment with Lynne that afternoon and would make another date.

'I need peace'

Hume testified that he was astonished by the SMSes that he received from Lynne's cellphone in her absence.

That afternoon he still had not managed to contact her by 15:00, and then the SMSes started arriving.

"I'll talk to you later. I need peace."

This didn't make sense to him and he tried to phone her.

"It hurts me that you cheated on me," the next SMS said. He was baffled, because he had not done so, Hume said.

Children asked about affair

He phoned friends to find out if they knew where his wife was.

His children asked him if he was having an affair.

The next morning, the children got an SMS from Lynne's cellphone inviting them for coffee and saying she would explain everything.

That afternoon, the police arrived at his home, and this was the first time he realised that something had happened to his wife, Hume said.

- Volksblad


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