ACCUSED: Gift Sibondo

A Zimbabwean man accused of killing his underage girlfriend claims he picked her up while she was passed out drunk on a field hours before she died.

This came out as Gift Sibondo’s lawyer, Advocate Riaan Odendaal, wrapped up cross-examination of the state’s third witness at the Western Cape High Court yesterday.

Sibondo, 29, is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 15-year-old Elda Japhta in May 2015 at the home they shared at the Zwelitsha informal settlement, Bredasdorp.

His neighbour, Constance Muchinyura, testified that just two days before Elda’s body was found under the accused’s bed, she saw him walking home with the deceased slumped over his shoulder.

When she asked him what happened, he told her he had assaulted Elda for not sleeping at home for four nights.

For the first time yesterday, the court was given a glimpse of the accused’s version of events.

“It is my instructions that he carried Elda to his house, put her down on a bag of clothing to open the door,” said Odendaal.

“There was a discussion between you two and you asked Mr Sibondo what happened to her and he said he picked her up on the field and she had drunk beer and fainted.”

Constance denied this and said she even saw blood on the hem on his jacket after he put down Elda’s body.

Elda’s friend, Moline Gotosah, was next on the stand, testifying about what happened when Sibondo fetched Elda at her mother’s home that day.

The trial continues today.