‘Axe man’ case: rented car smelled of blood

2012-11-26 16:15
Sphumelele Mngoma
Phindile Joseph Ntshongwana, dubbed the “axe man”, told a police officer the blood in his car was the result of an accident, Warrant Officer Lucky Mathe testified in the Durban High Court.

Mathe, from the Umlazi Police Station, said he was asked by car rental company Avis to recover a vehicle on their behalf from Ntshongwana on March 24 2011, which was long overdue.

Mathe said he did not do this in his capacity as a police officer but that the company often enlisted his services since he had “worked in the area for a long time and knows it well”.

He arrived at Ntshongwana’s home in Yellowwood around 6pm.

Ntshongwana was going to accompany him to drop the rented vehicle at Avis’s old premises for the night. Mathe would then deliver the vehicle the next morning.

He said Ntshongwana told him that the car had been involved in an accident.

Mathe claims that Ntshongwana begged him about three times to go inside a dark garage where the vehicle had been parked, to assess the damage. But Mathe refused.

Even when they had to drive the vehicle away, Ntshongwana asked to drive Mathe’s car while Mathe would drive the rented vehicle.

But this too, Mathe refused. “I told him that if he had an accident report, it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Mathe.

But when they later checked the car for damage at Avis’s premises, he discovered that the rear of the car had been damaged.

“I also discovered that the driver’s door had blood on it. The driver’s seat also had blood,” he said.

When Mathe questioned Ntshongwana about the blood, he told him a bus had crashed into his vehicle.

This statement was met with laughter from the public gallery.

Before dropping the vehicle off the next day, Mathe said he called the Avis employee who had asked him to collect the vehicle from Nthsongwana, to explain the damage and blood stains.

“Another problem I reported to him was that it smelled of blood,” he told the court.

The case continues.