Frans Nkuna led us to mutilated body, cop testifies in muti murder trial

11 July 2024 - 13:34
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Muthi murder victim Sebenzile Maphanga.
Muthi murder victim Sebenzile Maphanga.
Image: Supplied

A K9 policeman has identified sangoma Frans Nkuna as the person who pointed out where muti victim Sebenzile Maphanga's body was dumped and burnt.

Sgt Albertus Venter told the Pretoria high court on Thursday that he also assisted in the search of Nkuna's house.

Nkuna is standing trial for kidnapping and murdering Maphanga, whose charred and mutilated body was found in Dubai informal settlement, north of Pretoria, on October 11 2020.

He is the second accused on trial for the murder.

Her boyfriend, sangoma-in-training Collen Mathonsi, admitted to the murder and turned state witness in 2022. According to the plea statement, the murder was a ritual designed by Nkuna to give Mathonsi power. Mathonsi is serving a 35-year prison term.

The defence’s case is that Nkuna does not know Mathonsi or anything about the murder.

Venter, who is attached to the Roodepoort K9 unit, testified he was part of the team that searched Nkuna's home. The house was full of animal carcasses and muti, but no body was found, he said.

“At the house we searched there were no human parts detected by the dog. There was a lot of materials inside the house, dead animals and hides. If there were any human parts, our dog would have detected it,” he said.

From there, he said, the team had moved to an open area in Soshanguve Block KK, not far from the house.

“In that area there were reeds and rubble. The dog reacted in the bush. We went and found the body burnt beyond recognition.”

Venter said the body was found without a head, hands or legs.

Defence attorney Thomas Motala told Venter he had mixed up the identity of the two men.

“We have evidence before court that Mathonsi is the one who took you to the first location and the second location,” Motala said.

Venter, however, responded: “The person who is before court is the person who took us to both places. I am sure about that.”

On Tuesday the court heard evidence from Sgt Molwantoa Rapakgadi, who said Mathonsi had confessed to him while they were searching his house. Rapakgadi said Mathonsi alleged he was approached by Nkuna, who promised him a snake that would give him power if he provided a human body for its parts.

Mathonsi said he approached Maphanga, pretended to love her and dated her for a short period. He told Rapakgadi that Nkuna had participated in the murder, mutilated Maphanga, drank her blood and told him to discard the rest of the body.

The state has closed its case and the trial has been postponed to July 29.


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