JOHANNESBURG – HIP Hop artist Nkululeko ‘Flabba‘ Habedi did not seem angry when he explained what happened between him and the woman who later allegedly killed him, the Johannesburg High Court, sitting in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.
Thapelo Sello, who lived with Habedi and was present in March when the musician was killed, said he remembered Habedi had mentioned that his girlfriend and murder accused Sindi Manqele was angry because he had spoken to another woman.
“During the process of him [Habedi] explaining what had happened between him and the accused [Manqele], he didn’t seem like someone who was angry,” Sello said.
Sello said that he had heard Habedi and Manqele arguing for about 20 minutes but he could not hear what exactly was being said.
“There came a time when the music we were listening to came to and end and there was silence then Mpho [Motsoari] and I spoke, then we heard the deceased shout ‘this bitch just stabbed me’,” he said.
Sello said himself and Motsoari were discussing between themselves whether the fight was serious or not.
Sello was the latest witness called by State prosecutor Paul Schutter who asked Sello what he remembered from the night when the Habedi was killed.
Habedi, a member of hip-hop group Skwatta Kamp, was stabbed to death at his home on March 9, allegedly by Manqele, thought to be his girlfriend. At the time, police said they were called to Habedi’s Alexandra home at 4am, where the 38-year-old musician was killed.
Recalling what happened, Sello said: “We then heard the accused screaming Luyanda please help me, Tshepang please help me.”
He said he went inside the house when he heard the doors inside opening.
“The accused was begging the deceased to come back to life,” he said.
Sello said Habedi was laying on the floor with his mouth open and no movement. Schutter, handed him a knife, and Sello confirmed that it was the knife he saw on the night.
Schutter asked what he recalled of Manqele and her actions after they went back into the bedroom. Sello said that he only saw Manqele was hurt after she had apparently cut herself.
“After she cut herself one of the officers asked his colleague to fetch handcuffs because she was hurting herself,” he told the court.
Sello said paramedics bandaged both Manqele’s wrists where she had cut herself. He told the court that he could not tell if she was intoxicated when she had arrived at the house or after the incident in which Habedi died.
Earlier, Norman Makhubela, for Manqele, continued his cross-examination of Motsoari to see the distance between the relaxation room where he was with Sello and the bedroom where Habedi was stabbed.
Makhubela asked how it was possible that Motsoari was able to hear the door unlock but couldn’t hear what was being said during the fight.
Motsoari responded: “I’ve told you what I heard!”
Makhubela said that Manqele’s evidence was that Habedi forced himself into the room with a knife in his hands and she fell on her buttocks.
“Our evidence will show that the accused had bruises on her neck, on her forearms and on her rib cage,” he said.
Motsoari said he had no knowledge of the injuries she sustained.
Makhubela stated that there were cellphone messages that showed that the accused had tried to contact a family member to come and pick her up.
Motsoari responded: “Why didn’t she call me if she was being beaten up?”
Makhubela went back to the statement that Motsoari made to the police about where he was.
“Do you see that in the statement you said you heard the deceased say this fucking bitch just stabbed me? But you didn’t say that to the court,” Makhubela said.
Motsoari said that he was shaken by the incident when he gave his initial statement.
Earlier, Makhubela asked if he had taken alcohol and dagga that night, to which Motsoari responded: “Yes, I had two beers and one joint at around 10pm, then I stopped because I was tired that day.”
On Monday, the court heard Habedi’s cousin’s version of what took place on the night when he was murdered. – ANA