Kapola murder suspect confessed - magistrate
MBABANE – Mbabane Magistrate Siphosini Dlamini, yesterday, narrated to the court how the Kapola Guest House murder suspect allegedly killed his girlfriend and later attempted suicide.
The suicide attempt was, however, unsuccessful.
He also allegedly wrote on the wall that ‘I have killed,’ and wrote his name immediately thereafter.
Lot Gabriel Palati appeared before High Court Judge Mbutfo Mamba. Mbuso Simelane represented Palati and Stanley Dlamini prosecuted.
It was alleged that Palati killed Lihle Dlamini at Kapola Guest House on January 3, 2011.
He pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to culpable homicide.
The plea of guilty to culpable homicide was later abandoned after His Lordship said it was not an offence in law to kill a person by accident. Judge Mamba drew the distinction between negligent and accidental killing.
He added that the elements of culpable homicide include that of negligent, but Palati had insisted on accident as opposed to negligence.
Dr Komma Reddy, a Pathologist based at the Royal Swaziland Police Headquarters was the first to lead evidence about Lihle’s corpse which he examined on January 3, 2011.
He said Lihle died from several stab wounds inflicted on her body and the fractures on her skull were inflicted with a blunt object.
Magistrate Dlamini was the second to be called by the Crown as a witness. Dlamini is the Magistrate with whom Palati recorded a confession statement. Dlamini said Palati made the statement on January 3, 2011 in his chambers.
Palati was an employee of Kapola Guest House. He told Dlamini that he called Lihle to come to him at work to fetch money.
He alleged that when she came she was dropped off by a red Audi sedan which had three men on board.
He alleged that the men talked to him and one of them introduced himself as Lihle’s boyfriend and indicated that they had come to drop her off two days after Christmas at the guest house.
He alleged that he was very infuriated by these remarks and went straight to see Lihle who was in his house.
They allegedly had a conversation about the allegations, but Lihle denied knowledge of the men.
During the questioning, a fight allegedly ensued between them. "I took an iron rod which was by the fridge and threatened her to tell me the truth," Palati alleged in his confession.
Palati further told Dlamini that he went to the kitchen and got hold of a vegetable knife which is about 30 centimetres in length.
On his return, he was allegedly threatened by his girlfriend who hit him with the iron rod. "I then dispossessed her of the rod and hit her twice at the back of her head," he added.
The accused allegedly further told the judicial officer that Lihle fell down after she was hit with the rod.
Lihle allegedly fell on the knife and took hold of it. When Palati allegedly tried to lift her up, the knife she was holding pierced her neck.
Palati further confessed to Dlamini that after the accident, he called the police, but gave them a false identity and told them that he had left for Matsapha.
According to Palati, he pretended to be one of the men who had come to the guest house in a red sedan. He further recorded a false statement with the police.
"But before the police came, I tried to commit suicide using the belt of my trousers. I opened the ceiling and tied the belt, but I was unsuccessful," he said in his confession.
He continued: "Before the police came, I had written a message on the passage wall that ‘I have killed’ and wrote my name."
He ended by stating he had no intention of killing Lihle and he was very remorseful and apologetic to her family. "It all happened in a spell of the moment," he alleged.
The case continues.
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