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James Chatterton recounts the events of the day his wife Jackie was brutally murdered

James Chatterton recounts the events of the day his wife Jackie was brutally murdered

Jacqueline (46) was stabbed to death in her home in Boston on a dairy farm just after 21:00 on Monday, 31st October 2005 by Madondo David Ndlovu (22), who had previously worked for the Chatterton’s in the diary for four years and Mbongelwa Thuthukani Miya (22). David had left the farm over an altercation with

Jacqueline (46) was stabbed to death in her home in Boston on a dairy farm just after 21:00 on Monday, 31st October 2005 by Madondo David Ndlovu (22), who had previously worked for the Chatterton’s in the diary for four years and Mbongelwa Thuthukani Miya (22). David had left the farm over an altercation with another staff member. The two assailants entered the Chatterton home through the open kitchen door while Jackie’s husband James had gone outside with the dogs to turn a gate valve off at the garden gate which was a daily routine. Jackie went into the laundry situated on the back veranda.  

Unbeknownst to them, David and Thuthukani lay in wait in the laundry room just outside the Kitchen and apon coming upon the two men, Jackie immediately ran back inside the house followed by the two assailants, who locked the door behind them. James then heard screams coming from Jackie in the kitchen and desperately tried to gain access. 

Jackie was brutally attacked but turned and ran whilst continually being stabbed through the dining room, and to the other end of the house where the radio was stationed in the office. She managed to get a Mayday call out for help which instantly alerted the local farmers to the desperate situation. Later the farmers would testify how they could hear in Jackie’s voice that a brutal attack was in progress. A voice of panic and desperation that simply could not be described. 

Her screams were so loud during the 60 seconds of the stabbing that her mother and father inlaw who were in the house next door heard them. As the years wore on it is her screams that James’ mother could never get out of her mind. Jackie was stabbed some 40 times during the attack. 

James ran around to the front of the house, unlocking the front door. As he went in he picked up a cricket bat from the hat stand. He met the two assailants as they came out the bedroom, who then turned and ran back and barricaded themselves in the bedroom which had an interleading door to the office where Jackie lay.  

In the meantime, James’ father had responded to Jackie’s screams and met James outside the front door. He handed James a firearm. A staff member, the dairy induna Thandi Dlami had also heard the screams and joined James in the house with a cane knife. James and Thandi broke the door open and entered the bedroom.

Thuthukani managed to escape through a burglar guard with 10cm spaced bars in the ensuite bathroom, David was unable to follow as he was larger. James had one shot at David as he ducked into the bathroom which struck the edge of the door frame. James and Thandi followed David into the bathroom where he was crouching next to the toilet. Thandi shouted “It’s David, It’s David” in Zulu. 

Barry Cromhout, a local farmer had entered the house by this stage and placed his hand on James’s shoulder and said “Leave it to me” and at that moment James knew that he would not harm David. David was placed under citizens arrested by Barry and other farmer’s that had arrived by that time. One of the judges pointed this out in his sentencing. 

Judge President Vuka Tshabalala would later say that Thuthukani’s accomplice – David Ndlovu, who was jailed for life after pleading guilty in another trial – was “lucky” not to have been killed by those who arrested him in the Chatterton’s house immediately after the stabbing. He said “In some situations, he would have been killed by all those people who came there (when the alarm was raised). This shows we still have law in this country because they brought the man to justice for him to be tried and for the world to know that the courts pass judgments and sentences that are appropriate.”

James then went through to the office to get to Jackie who was lying on the floor next to the radio. Her last words to James were  “I’m bad. I’m bad”. She was put into a car and rushed to hospital in Pietermaritzburg, but passed away on route, not far from the farm. 

Howick District Surgeon Deenadayalan Naidoo, who did the post mortem examination showed that Jacqueline was stabbed with two different knives: a pocket knife and a larger, fixed blade knife. Naidoo said “considerable force had had to be used for the knife to penetrate the lungs. Jacqueline was stabbed twenty-two (22) times in the back, three (3) times in her left lung and six (6) times in her right lung. She sustained one (1) stab wound to the neck, two (2) stab wounds to her left arm, five (5) stab wounds to her face and one (1) stab wound to the scalp. A total of 40 wounds, of which 31 were deadly and caused her death.”

It seems the time frame of inflicting these injuries was carried out in less than 60 seconds as Jacqueline was hunted down as if by a pack of wild dogs as she ran to the radio to call for help. 

James had to make the most painful call in his life to his children, Jodie (20) and Spike (18) who were both at Stellenbosch University together. He phoned Spike and told him to run to his sister residents and to phone him back. In this call, he broke the news that they had been brutally attacked and that their mother had not made it.  

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