Axe man’s gory spree
Alleged ‘delusional’ killer read Bible before going on rampage
A deeply religious man with a dark inner life.
That’s the picture that emerged this week in the Durban High Court, where the trial of former Blue Bulls flanker Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana for murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and rape got under way.
Ntshongwana was arrested early last year after he allegedly murdered four people, using an axe as his deadly weapon. He was declared fit to stand trial despite suggestions he was mentally ill.
At one point, the court heard that before allegedly raping a woman, Ntshongwana read the Bible and watched vampire movies.
His alleged victim sobbed on Thursday as she testified that her assailant – who she identified as Ntshongwana – raped her several times during the four days that she was held captive after being abducted in Durban’s Yellowwood Park.
The woman told the court that Ntshongwana had refused to wear a condom, telling her not to worry because he “did not have anything”. Witness after witness took to the stand from Monday to Friday, describing scenes straight out of a horror movie.
All saw a man they claim was Ntshongwana – either as he allegedly attacked them with an axe or, in one gruesome instance, as he allegedly crouched over a body on the ground, “chopping down”.
Two of the men he allegedly attacked, and who survived, claim they were asked by their axewielding assailant why they had infected his child with HIV/Aids. The court also heard that the axe which was allegedly Ntshongwana’s weapon of choice was concealed in a red or orange packet.
While some witnesses have admitted they did not see the attacker’s face, several were able to identify Ntshongwana as he sat in court this week.
These identifications, questioned by the former rugby player’s lawyers, have placed Ntshongwana at a number of crime scenes.
Ntshongwana’s lawyer, Themba Mjoli, this week told the court his client was suffering from a “delusion disorder” and did not remember committing the crimes.
Mjoli has argued during cross-examination that those witnesses who positively identified Ntshongwana might have been influenced by photographs of his client published in the media.