No bail for former church minister accused of trying to kill his wife

IN CUSTODY: Retired church minister Mongameli Mgijima, 68, was refused bail in the Queenstown magistrate’s court earlier today Picture: SUPPLIED

Retired Komani pastor Mongameli Mgijima, 68, accused of trying to murder his teacher wife and staging it as a ‘suicide’ was denied bail in the Queenstown magistrate’s court earlier today.

Mgijima is charged with attempted murder after he and three accomplices allegedly attacked his 57-year-old wife in the couple’s New Rest home on March 6.

The former minister and three unknown men allegedly tied Nomthandazo Mgijima’s hands and legs with plastic tape, grabbed her and hung her onto the roof with a rope with her feet resting on a chair.

After the three men left, Mgijima went to pray in another room and came back and kicked the chair, leaving his wife to hang. After a while the rope broke and she fell on the floor and she survived.

However, he instructed her to lie and tell people she had tried to commit suicide or face being killed by the three men, according to investigating officer, Sgt Ntombokuqala Musa who testified in court last week.

After calling a tenant to help him, Musa said Mgijima drove his wife to the hospital where she informed nurses of her ordeal. He was later arrested after his son spotted his vehicle at a local taxi rank, allegedly ready to flee to Maclear. He reported him to the police.

Magistrate Sibabalwe Matshikiza handed down judgment today, refusing Mgijima bail after considering all the evidence presented by the state and defence attorney Nonkosi Mkile.

Gender activists and community members who protested outside the court last week, and submitted a petition, calling for bail to be refused, welcomed the judgment today.

Matshikiza postponed the case until April 25 for further investigation.

Read full story in The Rep on Friday.