Flabba Murder Trial: Jealousy & finances caused our fight

2015-09-15 16:00
The Flabba Murder Trial (Supplied)

Johannesburg- The Randburg High Court heard evidence from murder accused, Sindisiwe Manqele, on Wednesday afternoon in the murder trial of late hip hop artist, Flabba Habedi.

Sindi took to the stand as the defence's first witness. For the first time since the trial has begun, she removed her scarf and appeared shaken and emotional while giving testimony.

Her relationship with Flabba

She told the court how she had known Flabba since 2006, and had a great relationship with the rapper's mother and daughter. She says she saw him when she visited the country from Ireland, where she was studying and working.

She revealed that the couple had a fight in January, but resolved it over a holiday to Durban in February. She had been staying at the rapper’s house, and was due to fly back to Ireland at around the time of the incident.

Sindi revealed that the rapper was often flocked by fans and said this did not make her uncomfortable, even when one of the rapper's ex girlfriends joined them at The Sands on the night of his death.

She testified how herself, Flabba and their friends Nkululeko Chauke and Masego Tsele went to The Sands to celebrate Shugasmakx birthday. The group had been drinking and were constantly surrounded by friends. She denied knowing JR’s girlfriend, Kea, or even that Kea and Flabba had once dated.

Jealousy & Money issues

She rejected earlier testimony that she was sulking and upset, and says she was enjoying herself like everyone else at the club. She also denies seeing Kea dancing provocatively next to Flabba, and says that Kea’s presence did not irritate her, as alleged by the state.

She confirmed that it was herself and Nkululeko that bought the group's drinks, because Flabba was having financial troubles. She had lent Flabba R200 for petrol the week before.

Sindi maintains that there was no arguments or tension between herself and Flabba until two men approached Sindi, while Flabba was mingling with others. Sindi says Flabba and Nkululeko approached the men and confronted them, grabbing her by the wrist, demanding the group leave.

“I walked out with him still grabbing my wrist. We had a verbal altercation,” she told the court. “I asked him ‘Who the f*ck do you think you are grabbing me around?’"

The couple continued to argue outside of the club, where she says Flabba accused her of being a gold digger and wanting to fish for men. She responded that if she wanted a rich man she wouldn't be with him, because "there wasn't gold to dig." Around this time, Nkuli and Masego went to get the car, while Sindi and Flabba were seated on the pavement.

Calls of distress

Sindi says she called a cab because she did not want to leave with Flabba. When the cab driver called back, she told him she was at The Sands, but the call cut. She says Flabba heard the conversation.

“Khumbo (taxi driver) was asking me exactly where The Sands is. That's when the deceased took the phone from me... he snatched it,” she told the court.

Sindi says she went for the phone and sprained her ankle. Flabba told her that she was using the cab as a decoy for her to go back into the club and "fish for men."

She agreed to go home with him if he gave her her phone back.

“I sat in the back seat after he gave me my phone - I didn't want to talk to him,” she told the court.“I wouldn't say I was walking willingly - but I needed to get my phone back to make calls.”

She admits that her and Flabba were "tipsy," but she did not stumble or slur her speech. Sindi says once in the car, Flabba was upset and wanted to go back and beat the men who spoke to Sindi. Nkululeko convinced him not to. He then turned on Sindi and accused her of disrespect and entertaining the men.

The pair argued further once they had dropped their friends off and Sindi told the court how she had tried to call her cousins, but was not able to get through. She presented screenshots of the call records to the court as evidence.

The trial continues.

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