Judge: Flabba’s murder was a crime of passion

The High Court sitting in Randburg will reconvene in December for judgment.

FILE: Nkululeko 'Flabba' Habedi

JOHANNESBURG - With closing arguments now completed in the murder trial against Sindisiwe Manqele, the girlfriend of slain rapper Nkululeko 'Flabba' Habedi, the High Court sitting in Randburg will reconvene in December for judgment.

Over the next two weeks, Judge Solly Sithole will weigh the arguments to reach a decision around whether or not Manqele acted in self-defence when she stabbed Habedi in March.

The 26-year-old has admitted to stabbing Habedi at his Alexandra home in March but says it was self-defence.

Jealousy, affairs and conflicts about finances have been listed as possible reasons why a fight between Manqele and Habedi ended with the death of the rapper.

Judge Sithole says Habedi's murder was a crime of passion.

"Two people are in love and their love affair is characterised by altercations and changes which are not pleasant."

The State has refuted Manqele's account that she reacted out of fear after being attacked by Habedi.

Her lawyers, however, have called on the court to consider that she was protecting herself during a violent altercation.

'DRUNK JEALOUS GIRLFRIEND'

The defence lawyers have cautioned against representations of her being a drunk jealous girlfriend who killed her musician boyfriend out of spite.

Manqele's lawyers have told the court that she was tortured and assaulted by Habedi on the day she stabbed him.

Members of Flabba's family sighed in the gallery as defence lawyer Norman Makhubela told the court that Manqele had no choice but to protect herself.

"The possibility is, had she not done so, in all likelihood it would have been a different person in a body bag other than the deceased."

However, the State has argued that she was intoxicated and jealous after she saw Habedi dancing with a former girlfriend at a Sandton night club.

Prosecutor Paul Schutter says Manqele contradicted herself several times before the court.

While she says it was Habedi's jealousy that caused a fatal argument between the two, the State says the accused had more reason to be jealous due to her rapper boyfriend's interaction with a former lover.

Manqele's defence team asked the court to consider the events of the night in their entirety, in order to make sense of the decisions she made that would later result in Habedi's death.

Judge Sithole will now have to consider whether the State has successfully proven beyond reasonable doubt that Manqele's intention was to kill the artist.