Pretoria – A man, who testified that he woke up naked next to a Moroccan diplomat in a Pretoria guest house last year, was convicted of his murder in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.
Nigel Kahari from Zimbabwe, accused of stabbing Fatmi Noureddine more than 40 times, was convicted of murder, theft and being in the country illegally.
Kahari, wearing a black shirt with white flowers, sat in the dock and listened as Judge Mohamed Ismail delivered the judgment.
Ismail said there were contradictions in Kahari’s statement and that he gave three different versions of what happened on the day in October last year when the diplomat’s body was found in a pool of blood.
“The versions are not consistent with each other,” Ismail said.
Among the versions that Kahari told the court was that he visited Noureddine’s apartment on numerous occasions. On the day of the murder, he said, he went to take a shower.
“While he was in the shower, the deceased allegedly opened the door. He said he felt uncomfortable being seen naked. After finishing, they drank alcohol and he woke naked next to the deceased,” said the judge.
Realising he was naked, he then woke up the diplomat to establish what had happened. The accused said Noureddine then increased the volume of the television and told him to relax.
“The accused asked for the keys, but the deceased refused. He walked to the basin to get a knife. The deceased tried to take the knife and in the process cut his right palm.
“The deceased, according to the accused, grabbed an electrical cord which he wanted to put over the accused neck, but was unsuccessful in doing so [whereafter]the accused stabbed the deceased who then moved back,” said Ismail.
‘The accused made a poor impression’
The accused then stabbed the deceased as he was angry. While stabbing him, they fell to the ground and started fighting with each other.
“The accused testified that he remembered stabbing the deceased several times on the back and the last stab was on the front side of the neck. He left the knife in the deceased’s neck.
“He looked for his phone which he found in a black bag which had cellphones and three envelopes. He thereafter found the keys and wrapped the knife and took it with him,” Ismail said.
Prior to leaving, he went back to the bedroom and took pictures of the deceased in order to show them to his friend, only known as Future, to confirm if the deceased was the man who had offered him money to have sex with him.
“During cross examination, he was asked to explain the difference in the version he gave to his counsel. He explained that it was incorrect. The version he gave while testifying was correct and proper. Another strange aspect of the accused version was the photograph.
“His explanation was that it was in order for Future to see if he recognised the person. However, when carefully scrutinising the photograph, one notices the rear figure of the deceased and the face is not exposed to the camera’s lens as he is lying face down.
“This explanation of taking the photograph after the incident, is with the utmost respect, nonsensical and factious. The accused made a poor impression when he testified,” the judge said
The matter was postponed to January 27, 2016 for pre-sentencing.
Kahari was remanded in custody. – News24