WATCH | 'I wish he died violently' - Siam Lee's mom speaks as murder case struck off the roll
When state prosecutor Cheryl Naidu made an application to strike off the Philani Ntuli murder and kidnapping case in the Durban high court motion roll on Tuesday, it "pained her to do so".
"It's a crying shame that the complainants and Siam will never have a voice in court," Naidu said in court after the results of fingerprint analysis confirmed that Ntuli, who was accused of murdering young Durban escort Siam Lee, had indeed died two weeks ago.
Acting Durban high court judge Naresh Bhikha struck the matter from the roll.
"The investigating officer warrant officer Rajan Govender and the state worked very hard on the case. We have been robbed of an opportunity to present a compelling case which we were confident would have been successful," Naidu said.
Ntuli apparently died from skin cancer on June 21.
Naidu explained that while photographs of the body seemed to indicate that it was him, there were concerns over the death certificate.
She explained the wording of the certificate had been superimposed over the department of home affairs logo.
"This raised suspicions of foul play. We investigated and found that there was a fault with the printer at that home affairs office. On top of that, we did the fingerprint analysis."
Lee's mom Nan told the media that she had hitched a ride from Bloemfontein to be at court proceedings.
"Nature intervenes. God intervened. There was nothing else to be done. In a way I am pleased there will be no long drawn-out trial."
His death is of little comfort to Nan.
"I wish he died violently," she told TimesLIVE.
Ntuli's family were not at court. He was buried on Sunday at Sobantu in Pietermaritzburg.
The striking off of the matter will allow them to reclaim his bail money of R40,000.