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eMkhondo murders: Defence disputes survivor’s account of the assault

  • The court docket will hear closing arguments within the bail utility of eight males accused of homicide and tried homicide on Pampoenkraal Farm. 
  • The defence believes there are materials variations within the variations given by the State’s witness.
  • The defence used a transcript from an SABC Particular Task interview to query the investigating officer.

Two completely different accounts by the State’s core witness, to some extent, exonerates a few of the eight males accused of homicide and tried homicide on Pampoenkraal Farm, defence legal professionals informed the Piet Retief Justice of the Peace’s Courtroom in eMkhondo, Mpumalanga, on Thursday. 

A transcript from an SABC programme, Particular Task, shaped the idea of the defence’s cross-examination of investigating officer, Warrant Officer Vukile David Nhlapho.

Defence lawyer, advocate Jaap Cilliers, cross-examined the police officer within the bail listening to of Zenzele Yende, Werner Potgieter, Eliot Dlamini, Moses Dlamini, Cornelius Greyling, Sikhumbuzo Zikalala, Mzwakhe Dlamini and Nkosinathi Msibi.

The Justice of the Peace presiding is Dumisani Nxumalo.

The eight face fees of homicide, tried homicide, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice. 

They’re accused of murdering Sifiso Joseph Thwala and Musa France Nene on the farm on 9 August 2020. 

News24 beforehand reported the 2 deceased males, together with Christopher Sthembiso Thwala, had been allegedly assaulted by the accused after their automobile broke down close to the farm.  They’d been accused of stealing sheep. 

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Christopher Thwala survived the alleged assault, however his brother, Sifiso, and a pal, Nene, had been killed. 

The transcript delivered to the court docket was an interview Christopher did with the SABC, detailing his account of what occurred on the day. 

Cilliers put it to the court docket that the account the survivor gave through the televised interview differed “materially” from a press release he gave the police, which Nhlapho closely relied on when he testified to oppose bail for the accused males.

Cilliers quizzed Nhlapho on the contents of the transcript from the SABC interview, placing it to him that there have been materials variations. 

“There may be little doubt that the incident being described right here (within the transcript) is the incident that occurred on 9 August 2020, close to Pampoenkraal.

“And the one particular person in the entire world who may have stated, ‘my brother, my pal and I, had been within the automobile’ is Christopher Thwala as a result of the opposite two individuals have handed away, sadly,” Cilliers stated as he cross-examined Nhlapho. 

Cilliers added:

All I need to put to you, [a] normal reference assertion, the model right here, particularly close to who was concerned within the assault – differs materially from the summarised model. That is what we are going to argue.


The lawyer didn’t go into element about what precisely differed, saying he would go deeper throughout his closing arguments.

Nhlapho didn’t have a touch upon the defence’s view. 

Cilliers additionally quizzed the officer concerning the ID parade of the accused. 

He disputed the police’s view that Potgieter and Greyling weren’t cooperative through the parade.

The defence lawyer stated he was instructed that they had been, however the police didn’t produce other “enough white individuals” to kind a part of the parade. They anticipated the then authorized consultant to convey different individuals for the parade. 

Earlier than the Justice of the Peace accepted the usage of the transcript for questioning, the prosecutor, Vuyo Mkhulise, submitted there was no authorized foundation for it for use.

He questioned the transcript’s authenticity, saying there have been no signatures, and it was not commissioned. 

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Cilliers countered by saying the core motive was as a result of it exonerated “not less than 4 of the accused”.

“Your worship, so far as relevance is worried, with nice respect to my discovered pal, the submission referring to the impact that it was not completed below oath, has nothing to do with relevance. 

“The relevance in these proceedings is that the variations offered by Mr Thwala (Christopher), in particular person, on video, exonerates not less than, and I emphasise, not less than, 4 of the candidates earlier than your worship, as not concerned in any respect within the alleged assaults,” Cilliers informed the court docket. 

He stated it was for that motive it was necessary the court docket acquired the fabric.  

Nxumalo stated, though he welcomed the considerations of the transcript’s relevance and authenticity,  he was not too nervous about it at this stage.

“With that stated, and with all of the considerations that I acknowledged the State has raised, I’ll welcome these considerations once more within the type of an argument at a later stage, concerning the worth of such a transcript,” Nxumalo stated. 

The Justice of the Peace added that he would pronounce throughout his bail judgment whether or not the transcript was of any worth in the direction of the collective proof handed to the court docket.  

The court docket expects to listen to closing arguments on Friday.

Judgment is anticipated to be delivered subsequent week. 

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