GEORGE NEWS - More damning evidence was heard in the George Circuit High Court during the past week as two state witnesses testified in the murder trial of Hlompho Mohapi (Koloi).
Besides being accused of 25-year old Mohapi's brutal murder, self-ordained pastor Melisizwe Monqo (33), his wife Siphoshile Pamba (27) and cousin Phumlani Quesheka (31) are also accused of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder relating to incidents that took place in the Eastern Cape prior to Mohapi's murder in George on 5 July 2018.
State witnesses take the stand
A state witness (36) from King William's Town who started his testimony on Thursday 11 February continued on Friday and was cross-examined by the defence on Monday 15 February.
The court heard that he was involved in an attempt to murder Nomfundiso Booi in the Eastern Cape in May 2018.
He said that Monqo offered him and Quesheka R10 000 to murder Booi. However, he told the court that it was never his intention to murder Booi and that his plan was to fake her murder and take the money.
This came after Monqo and Pamba were allegedly involved in taking out five life and funeral policies on Booi's name without her knowledge, pretending to be her.
The witness stated that he was not aware of any policies. He said the reason Monqo gave him for wanting Booi "removed" was that she was causing trouble for Monqo.
The court heard how the witness and the accused tracked down their potential victim in Ezibeleni after searching for her in King William's Town and Queenstown.
This was allegedly already the second attempt on Booi's life.
In the first attempt Monqo allegedly made on Booi's life he attacked and assaulted her with a knife in King William's Town.
The doctor who was on duty at hospital that night in June 2017, testified earlier how she treated a woman [Booi] who had sustained serious injuries above her right eye and right hand. She had lost a lot of blood and according to the doctor, the wounds could have been fatal if not treated in time.
The second attempt on Booi's life allegedly involved a housebreaking and a shooting in Ezibeleni where Booi stayed at the time.
According to the state witness who testified last week, he saw how Monqo tried to shoot Booi after breaking into the house. He however missed the victim completely and they fled the scene. During the incident the witness sustained an open injury to his right arm that was, according to him, bandaged by Pamba, who was waiting in the car when they got back to the vehicle.
The getaway vehicle, a silver Suzuki, was allegedly the same car used by Monqo and Quesheka to pick up Mohapi from Thembalethu on the day she was murdered.
Another state witness (20) from King William's Town took to the stand on Wednesday morning, 17 February. He was the driver at Monqo's church, God's Work Ministries,
He told the court that in June 2017 he was asked to drive the pastor to a mall near where Booi was. According to him it was late, but he couldn't remember the exact time.
He said when they arrived, Monqo put on a balaclava and he had a knife in his hand.
The court heard that Monqo went up to Booi, a struggle ensued and he stabbed her in the face.
The witness then ran back to the car and drove off. He did not know where Monqo was at that stage.
Nearly a year later, on 5 May 2018, he was also witness to the attempted murder on Booi's life in Queenstown where Monqo allegedly tried to shoot her. Again he was the driver.
The trial was postponed during the witnesses' testimony as he complained of not feeling well.
On Tuesday 16 February, a financial advisor from Old Mutual testified about property that Pamba wanted to buy and money that she wanted to invest. She allegedly did not have money for either of these at that time.
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