April 16 2008 at 09:00AM
A grey-haired 57-year-old farm worker has admitted that he slit his 78-year-old employer's throat because he wanted to steal her cellphone, but insisted he had sex with Johanna Erasmus' corpse and did not rape her while she was still alive.
The Pretoria High Court on Tuesday convicted Amos Zulu of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances following a plea of guilty.
But Judge Peter Mabuse said he could not convict him of rape, as there were no witnesses.
He said the defence did not, on the other hand, dispute that Zulu's semen was found inside the victim.
This was after DNA evidence revealed that it was definitely his semen.
The court convicted him of violating the woman's corpse, as he insisted it happened after her death.
Zulu worked for Erasmus, who lived on a farm at Welbekend near Bronkhorstspruit.
He said in his explanation of plea that on the morning of February 12 last year, Erasmus asked him why he had locked the goats up so early.
He said an argument ensued while they were in the stable and he took his Okapi knife out.
"I slit her throat and took her cellphone. I then went ahead with my duties on the farm as usual," he stated.
Zulu did not mention anything about the sexual intercourse in his explanation of plea.
It was only after DNA experts on Tuesday testified that the semen found inside Erasmus was without a doubt his, that he admitted he had sex with her corpse.
He was adamant that he did not rape her.
Regarding the murder, Zulu admitted that he had known his conduct was unlawful and that he had no defence. He said he had murdered Erasmus because he wanted her cellphone.
Zulu's long list of previous convictions were read out and the court heard that his crime spree had started in 1972 and continued until he was convicted of murder in 1985 and sentenced to death.
He was in jail for 10 years until the supreme court of appeal commuted his death sentence to a prison term.
As he had already spent 10 years in jail, he was released from prison shortly afterwards.
Zulu's trial was postponed for sentencing on June 2.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on April 16, 2008