Businessman murdered – Wife in court

The people accused of the murder of local businessman Tezuanno Ciciliato in February 2013 appeared in the High Court in Middelburg.

Ronel Botma, Mr Ciciliato’s wife, her domestic helper Anna Mukwana, Anna’s sister Dina and four men Hendrik Chego, Mbuso Khoza, Lucas Letsebe and Doctor Tlou had their case postponed until 2015.

They are accused of murdering Mr Ciciliato in his house by stabbing him with a sharp object. His wife and daughter, who were 14 at the time of the incident, were not at home when the attack took place.

Middelburg residents were shocked when Mrs Botma was arrested a couple of days after the murder. During Mrs Botma’s formal bail application, it came to light that she was abused by Mr Ciciliato.

Ronel Botma was supported by friends and family in court.  With her is Marie Booyens, (left) and Vicky Botma (right).
Ronel Botma was supported by friends and family in court. With her is Marie Booyens, (left) and Vicky Botma (right).

A report compiled by Professor Vollie Spies was read out in court and concluded that she was verbally, emotionally and physically abused. It was also alleged that Mr Ciciliato threatened to kill Mrs Botma when she tried to leave him prior to the murder.

Mrs Botma’s legal team indicated that when the court proceedings start in 2015, she will plead guilty. This means that her trial will be separated from the rest of the accused, who plead not guilty. The state as well as the defense will call on a long list of witnesses for mitigation before sentencing.

 
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