Mothers mourn in Mary-Lee Macumbe’s murder trial


One mother mourned her daughter‚ Mary-Lee‚ who was found stabbed to death and stuffed in the boot of her car which was later dumped in Malvern.

Another wept for her son‚ Percy Khoza‚ who is behind bars and on trial for a crime she thinks he possibly didn’t commit.

Susan Langa-Macumbe said she had held high hopes for Monday’s court proceedings as she had seen a Facebook post by Khoza in which he promised to deliver his “confession statement” into the death of her daughter. “When I first saw that post… When you read it‚ it says he is going to confess but at the end‚ he says ‘I didn’t kill her’‚” said Macumbe.

A part of the post read: “On Monday I’ll be doing a confession statement due to the case… Let’s put this to the end.”

But on Monday‚ no confession came.

“I really thought he was going to confess but in the end I could see he wasn’t going to‚” the frail woman said‚ choking on her words as she was comforted by a relative.

Sitting across from her was Mary-Lee’s older brother Aryton. He avoided eye contact with his weeping mother. The soft-spoken young man kept his eyes on his phone as his mother broke down.

All her family wants to know is who killed her and why.

Percy Khoza‚ who was Mary-Lee’s ex-boyfriend‚ was arrested for her murder in October 2014. He was 22 years old at the time. They had made plans to meet that day but when she didn’t return home‚ Aryton called Khoza to ask about her whereabouts.

Khoza‚ however‚ claims he was not responsible for the gruesome killing but it was his then girlfriend and mother of his child‚ Kgomotso Masemola‚ who did it.

He claimed Masemola was in a fit of rage when he found Macumbe at his home in Troyeville. She stabbed Macumbe and threatened to kill his daughter and mother if he didn’t help her cover up the crime‚ he alleged. Khoza said the two of them wrapped her body in a carpet‚ cleaned the floor and walls and burnt their bloodied clothes. He further claimed that the next day‚ a friend helped him load the body into the boot of her vehicle. They drove around until the car ran out of fuel and they dumped it.

Khoza’s mother‚ Nozipho‚ said she believed that not a single one of the stab wounds on Macumbe’s body came from her son.

“Whoever did this thing was very angry‚” said Nozipho Khoza.

“Even Percy cried when he saw the pictures when he was on the stand‚” the woman said.

She sympathised with Mary-Lee’s mother.

“I know how she feels but unfortunately‚ I cannot undo it‚” she said‚ bursting into tears.

“Now I have also lost Percy.”

Asked why he wanted to come clean with his “confession”‚ Percy’s mother said: “What upset him was that he was covering up for Kgomotso but she wasn’t even visiting him in prison and it later turned out that she is a state witness.”

Masemola was also arrested at the time but was released after being questioned about the murder.

She denied being at the house on the day of the murder but admitted to seeing Khoza on the day. She claimed he arrived in Mucambe’s car and gave her the cellphone.

Meanwhile‚ the State has relied heavily on cellphone tower records to displace Masemola from the scene.

In the meantime‚ a Facebook page containing many pictures of Khoza and his daughter remains active.

TMG Digital contacted Khoza’s lawyer‚ Elna Moolman‚ to ask whether she was aware of the account. She said she knew nothing about it.

Asked whether Khoza had intended to deliver a confession statement‚ as written in the Facebook post‚ she explained that Khoza’s intended statement was actually meant to be an apology statement.

She advised him that he would later get a chance to address the court again.

Khoza has enjoyed support from friends and family during the trial.

After proceedings‚ TMG Digital asked his friends whether they were aware of his Facebook and WhatsApp account. They claimed to know nothing of it gave and provided varying explanations of how someone else could be posting on his page.

Khoza’s mother‚ who was battling cancer at the time of Mary-Lee’s murder‚ said she had since moved out of her home where the young woman was murdered.

She spoke about the difficulty in living there since Mary-Lee’s spirit was never fetched by her family‚ in accordance to African culture.

But for Mary-Lee’s mother‚ finding justice for her daughter is her priority.

Asked whether she believes justice will be served she answered: ” I have to….”.

Khoza returns to court on March 10‚ when judgment is expected.

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