Retired crime intelligence cop 'died by strangulation': wife and son on trial for murder

04 November 2021 - 14:54
By Ernest Mabuza
Hitmen were allegedly hired to kill retired crime intelligence officer Maj-Gen Thekiso Mogoerane. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/SKYCINEMA Hitmen were allegedly hired to kill retired crime intelligence officer Maj-Gen Thekiso Mogoerane. Stock photo.

Retired crime intelligence officer Maj-Gen Thekiso Mogoerane, found dead in his car in 2018, was killed by strangulation, a senior forensic pathologist told the Johannesburg high court on Thursday.

Dr Tinyiko Zelda Nkondo, from the department of health Roodepoort forensic pathology services, was testifying at the trial of those accused of murdering Mogoerane.

They are his wife, former Lt-Col Cordelia Velaphi Mogoerane, his son Thabiso Mogoerane, 27, Eunice Ntombizodwa Dlamini, 73, Michael Sanele Mphuthi, 38, Thulani Perseverance Nxumalo, 36, Mzweshinga Zondo, 51 and Thokozani Zondo, 47.

Another accused, Bongiwe Lukhele, 46, was killed before one of her court appearances in mysterious circumstances in April 2019.

Mogoerane, 61, and her son allegedly hired hitmen in January 2018 to kill her husband. The motive for the murder is not known but police suspect it had to do with money, because a portion of Mogoerane’s large pension was paid out to him at the time of his death.

The allegation is that Mogoerane was drugged at his home and then strangled while unconscious.

His body was found inside his car on the roadside at Birchleigh in Kempton Park in Gauteng.

All the accused have denied the charges.

Nkondo testified on Thursday about conducting an examination of the deceased and her report showed that there was prominent facial congestion and the body was in a state of decomposition.

Nkondo said there were marks on the deceased’s neck, indicating a constriction to the neck structure. Nkondo said when there was a constriction of neck muscles, this resulted in the closure of veins and caused congestion of the face.

When asked by prosecutor Carla Britz what was the cause of Mogoerane’s death, Nkondo replied: “Constriction by ligature.”

Britz asked how long it would take a person to die if there was constriction of the airway.

Nkondo said the brain needed blood. “If there is no blood supply, it could take three to five minutes,” Nkondo said.

The trial continues on Friday.