Durban — The murder trial of the wife of a Newlands East man, her lesbian lover and another woman, is set to begin next week in the Durban High Court.
The three women appeared briefly in court this week, where their private counsel withdrew and the matter was adjourned for Charmaine Margaret Khumalo, Teagan Allison Brown and Analidia Dias Bella Dosantos to get Legal Aid representation.
The three are alleged to have hatched and executed a plan to kill Dosantos’s husband, Mark Buttle, four years ago.
An insurance policy is alleged to be the motive behind the murder, coupled with the claim that Dosantos, 41, was having an affair with Brown, 25.
Buttle was stabbed multiple times in the neck, allegedly by the three women, while in his car. This was after he had allegedly been lured to the scene by Dosantos, under the pretext of working through marital issues.
In court, the three women sat huddled together, chatting in the back bench ahead of court proceedings.
Senior State advocate Khatija Essack indicated that while the matter had been on the roll for trial, it could not go ahead because the women’s defence wanted to make an application to withdraw as counsel for the accused.
It is alleged that Dosantos moved out of the couple’s home in 2017 as her marriage was on the rocks, and she was already having an affair with Brown, whom she moved in with.
The State alleges that Buttle, who had been gainfully employed during the course of the marriage, had acquired life insurance policies with Dosantos as the beneficiary.
The two lovers are alleged to have plotted to kill Buttle so that Dosantos could collect on his life insurance policy.
It is alleged that in January 2018 Dosantos moved back in with her husband and Brown moved into a home next door to that of Khumalo, whom she knew.
The State alleges that the women conspired with one Sibusiso to execute their plan.
On the evening of February 25, 2018, Buttle was stabbed multiple times in his neck, allegedly by Dosantos, Brown and Khumalo, 45, while in his parked vehicle in an open area in Ferndale. He had gone to the area at the behest of Dosantos. She had left for their destination already armed with a knife, according to the State.
Following this, Dosantos parted ways with the other women and reported she had been with her husband when they had been hijacked.