Tue, 23 Apr 2013 06:30:00 GMT | By Sapa

Axe Man Can't Recall Murders

Former Blue Bulls rugby player Joseph Phindile Ntshongwana does not remember the murders of which he is accused, the Durban High Court heard on Monday.

Blue Bulls (© Gallo)

His lawyer Themba Mjoli told the court Ntshongwana suffered from "delusional disorder" and did not remember committing any of the crimes of which he was accused.

He is charged with the murder of Thembelenkosini Cebekhulu in Montclair on March 20, 2011, Paulos Hlongwa two days later, Simon Ngidi the following day, and an unidentified man sometime that week.

All were hacked to death with an axe.

Ntshongwana is also accused of kidnapping and raping a woman on November 28, 2010, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He also faces two charges of attempted murder.

Mjoli said the woman who was allegedly raped by Ntshongwana told the court when he spoke to her it was as if he was speaking to someone he knew.

"That was bizarre, because he had never seen her before," he said.

Mjoli said the woman testified that Ntshongwana read his Bible for hours. He gave her a book on President Barack Obama to read and watched horror movies.

He asked investigating officer Lt-Col Jason McGray whether this behaviour was bizarre. McGray agreed.

Mjoli said the woman had told the court that Ntshongwana had accused her of infecting his daughter with HIV/Aids and of being the reason their families were no longer on good terms.

He asked McGray if Ntshongwana's actions had been normal.

McGray said a rapist wanted to control and belittle a person.

"Why did he tell her to call her family, to tell them that she was safe if he was not mentally fit?" he asked.

Mjoli also referred to a man from Lamontville, who testified that he was approached by an assailant who said: "I knew we would meet again. You were the one who infected my daughter with Aids."

The man was allegedly attacked by Ntshongwana with an axe, but escaped.

"We know the accused never met the man before. The accused doesn't have a daughter," Mjoli said.

McGray said if Ntshongwana's mother believed he was mentally ill, she would not have hired him a car.

"That would be like giving him a loaded gun."

Mjoli told the court Ntshongwana's mental illness dated back to 2009, when he was admitted RK Khan Hospital in Durban.

In August 2010, he was treated at a Cape Town mental institution, and that December received treatment at King George Hospital in Durban, he said.

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