Durban – The parents of murdered Chatsworth woman Desiree Murugan sobbed throughout court proceedings on Tuesday as one of their daughter’s killers pleaded guilty to the murder and cutting her head off, which was to be allegedly sold for R2 million to a traditional healer.
The 39-year-old Murugan’s headless and naked body was discovered by municipal workers at Shallcross Sports Ground in Durban on August 18 last year. Initially six people – Falakhe Khumalo, Thuso Stanley Thelejane, Mlungisi Ndlovu, Vusimuzi Gumede, traditional healer Sibonakaliso Zaba and Mbali Gwala – were arrested for the brutal murder.
Khumalo pleaded guilty last year and is already serving a life sentence. On Tuesday another accused, Thelejane, pleaded guilty to charges of murder and premeditated murder. He told the court in a statement read by his lawyer Advocate Jabulisa Malinga that Khumalo had told them about a traditional healer who was willing to pay them R2 million in exchange for the head of a white, coloured or Indian person.
He said they lured Murugan, believed to be a local prostitute, to the sports fields, pretending to be potential clients. He told the court Khumalo raped the deceased while he kept guard and once he was done, he signalled for him to come closer. Thelejane told the court that they then stabbed Murugan, claiming that Khumalo did the last stabbing to kill her.
“I then noticed that Khumalo had slit the head off and packed it in a backpack. We went to Ndlovu’s home and we gave Mbali [one of the accused] the head to wash it,” he said. He said they spent the night together at Ndlovu’s place.
The next day Khumalo and Ndlovu went to Mfume to deliver the head to the traditional healer and were expected to go back a few days later to pick up the R2 million payment as promised by the healer. He said they were all arrested before they could be paid. “I know what I did was wrong and against the law. I was naive and allowed my feelings to rule my head.
“I have seen the pictures of the headless victim and I confirm that it is that of the woman I assisted to kill. “I am remorseful and ashamed,” he told the court. The case continues to