The trial of Dumisani Mkhwanazi, the man accused of murdering UJ student Palesa Modiba seven years ago, has been postponed to Friday for judgment in the Johannesburg High court. The state and Mkhwanazi’s defense have submitted their closing arguments.
Madiba’s body was discovered buried in a shallow grave at the accused’s home in Soweto in December 2015.
She had been reported missing two years earlier after visiting her friend, Tshidi Mkhwanazi, who is the niece of the accused.
Mkhwanazi allegedly killed and buried Modiba’s body in the backyard of his Soweto home after robbing her of her cellphone.
He’s facing charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, defeating the ends of justice, and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
During his testimony last week, Mkhwanazi maintained his innocence. However, he battled during cross-examination, often contradicting himself and selectively remembering events linked to Palesa’s death.
He denied all the statements given by the witnesses linking him to the crimes for which he stands accused.
The state questioned him about why all the witnesses, some complete strangers, gave evidence that incriminated him.
Mkhwanazi told the court he is surprised by this. He maintained his innocence but conceded that he had seen Palesa at his home on the day she went missing. He told the court that he left her and came home late after visiting friends.
Palesa Modiba officially laid to rest:
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