A MOTHERWELL hostage-taker yesterday claimed in the magistrate‘s court that he had gone to the house of the victims to “sort things out” with his girlfriend after he heard allegations of an affair.
Xola Stanley Zembethe, 36, faces charges of kidnapping and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition stemming from a tense 16-hour standoff between him and a police contingent.
The drama unfolded on February 16 in Ndlovu Street, where Zembethe allegedly took hostage his girlfriend‘s sister, Nompumelelo Myali, her year-old son Lisa, another son, Mafixole, 19, and a relative, Simphiwe Wilskuit, 23.
Zembethe, of Uitenhage, and his girlfriend, Bulelwa Jack, were embroiled in counter accusations of cheating on each other, the court heard.
During a bail hearing yesterday, Zembethe said he would plead not guilty to the charges when the matter went to trial. He insisted on conducting his own defence.
He said that after he had arrived in Motherwell from Cape Town that morning, he had wanted to set the record straight regarding rumours that he had cheated on Jack. “Prior to this, I received a phone call saying I must not accuse her of cheating because I was also having an affair. They also accused me of having killed my mother and children. I said, ‘I will deal with you when I arrive in Port Elizabeth because of false allegations‘,” said Zembethe.
Shortly after his arrival at the house, four occupants were held hostage, allegedly by Zembethe, and threatened with a firearm.
Two shots were fired. A firearm was allegedly taken from Zembethe after the incident. He claimed he had found it on a Jeffreys Bay beach in December.
Zembethe refuted claims by the state that he had a tendency to watch hostage-drama films.
Investigating officer Inspector Monde Sithole testified that Zembethe had demanded Myali call her husband, Simphiwe, and tell him to bring Jack from Despatch.
Asked why he wanted to be released on bail, he said he was responsible for his 13-year-old child, he was required to perform elder duties in the Presbyterian Church of Africa and he was also the co-ordinator of an HIV/Aids project
The matter was postponed to March 19 for the investigating officer to verify Zembethe‘s previous convictions. The state alleges he has several previous convictions, including car theft and armed robbery.
He has two pending case involving shoplifting and arson.
source: The Weekend Post