20/09/2007 10:31 - (SA)
Yolandé Hayward, Die Burger
Port Elizabeth - "I strangled him."
"We strangled him."
"Nigerians strangled him."
"My co-accused and a friend strangled him."
These were four versions of events that Natasha Dziwonu, 31, one the alleged killers of businessman Hein Nel, 26, had offered since her arrest.
Dziwonu and Jongisizwe Mamase, 28, are accused of murder and robbery following Nel's death in October last year.
Nel collected rent from Dziwonu, who rented his flat in Central, on October 6.
She confessed initially
"His body was found under a single bed in Dziwonu's bedroom two days later.
The Port Elizabeth high court heard on Wednesday that Dziwonu had told inspector Jackie Grobler on the day of her arrest that she had strangled Nel.
She later told Grobler she and her friends had strangled him.
However, in a warning statement and a statement made in front of a magistrate, she indicated that two Nigerians had killed Nel.
According to these documents, she heard Nel and two Nigerians arguing in front of her door on the day of Nel's murder. She opened the door.
The two men, who had a gun, allegedly dragged Nel into her flat, tied his hands and feet with shoelaces and robbed him.
They then covered him with a duvet, kicked him, strangled him with shoelaces and hid his body under the single bed.
On Wednesday, she gave yet another version.
For the first time she said Mamase and his "Xhosa-speaking friend" robbed and killed Nel.
According to Dziwonu, Mamase and the friend were at her flat when Nel arrived. She allegedly handed the rent money to Nel, but before he could leave, Mamase and his friend grabbed him and threatened him with a knife.
They tied him with shoelaces and robbed him.
They then strangled him with a rope with which she had tied back the curtains, and hid his body.
Mamase denied this testimony and said he only took part in the robbery, but left while Nel was still alive.
Mamase's legal representative, James Reily, wanted to know from Dziwonu why she had changed her testimony.
She said it was the truth, except for the part about the Nigerians.
Phumeza Ntomi, one of Dziwonu's friends, testified on Wednesday that Dziwono had asked her on October 3 if she knew someone who could drive a car and had a gun.
Dziwonu allegedly told Ntomi she was going to grab a white man, tie him up and kill him two days later.