June 12 2009 at 10:15AM
By Kamini Padayachee
The man on trial in connection with the murder of Jennifer-Rae Hall in a hijacking last year has claimed police plotted to implicate him.
Sifundo Mkhize, 23, of Illovo township, near Amanzimtoti, is charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery. He testified in his defence in the Durban High Court on Thursday.
Hall, 22, a beauty therapist from Winston Park, was killed and her friend, Kate Fleming, wounded when they were hijacked in Amanzimtoti on June 14 last year. Amy Lansdell, who was also in the white VW Polo, was not injured.
Before Mkhize began his testimony on Thursday, Judge Ronald McLaren ruled in a trial within a trial, admitting as evidence information on Mkhize's pointing out of details at the crime scene and a sugarcane field and a statement that he made to police.
Captain Shane Smith told the court that Mkhize had taken him to the crime scene in Amanzimtoti and to a sugarcane field where he had pointed out items taken from the car.
Mkhize told the court he had been at home on the day of the attack.
State advocate Bheki Manyathi asked Mkhize why witness Sduduzo Madida would implicate him in the crime.
Madida told the court earlier he had seen Mkhize and another person in a white VW Polo on June 14. He said he, Mkhize and others had used the car to go to a wedding in Gingindlovu on that date.
Mkhize responded that Madida was mistaken as he had not seen him on June 14.
The judge asked Mkhize if he felt Smith had planted the items in the sugarcane field in a conspiracy to implicate him.
Mkhize said: "Yes, that is correct."
Judgment is to be handed down on Monday.
This article was originally published on page 4 of The Mercury on June 12, 2009