Bakkie dragging ‘a lie’

2011-08-24 00:00

HOWICK businessmen Johan Bornman and Theunis Schoeman yesterday denied charges of kidnapping and attempted murder arising from allegations that they tied up and dragged an employee behind a bakkie last year.

They claim that Tankiso Sikhosana (33) fabricated the story because he realised he was going to be fired.

In his testimony before regional magistrate Jaco Jordaan, Sikhosana denied allegations by the accused that he had a “drinking problem”, that he drank on duty on the day of the alleged incident, September 21, 2010, and that he “knew” he would be fired when he failed to turn up at work the following morning.

Sikhosana testified that the accused grabbed him when he alighted from their bakkie to open a gate leading to Bornman’s electrical company in Howick on the night in question.

He said Schoeman grabbed both his legs and Bornman kicked him, uttering words to the effect that Sikhosana was “messing up his job”.

Under cross-examination by defence advocate Shane Matthews later, Sikhosana said these were the only words spoken to him by the two accused during the assault.

He said Bornman took a rope from the bakkie and the two men tied his hands and legs with it.

“While I was still being tied, accused one [Bornman] kicked me and assaulted me on my eyes.”

Sikhosana testified that Bornman used a white plastic shopping bag to cover his head. He could hear the engine of the car running.

The rope was tied to the vehicle and he was “dragged” by the bakkie while lying on his stomach.

“There was grass there where I was being dragged,” he said.

Sikhosana said that after the bakkie stopped Bornman removed the plastic bag from his head and untied his hands.

He alleged Bornman “tore” his clothing (overalls and underpants) from his body, leaving him naked, and while his legs were still tied up Bornman “booted” him in his face and on his stomach.

Afterwards Schoeman again tied his hands and the two men threw him on the back of the bakkie.

As he lay there on his side, Bornman put the plastic bag back over his head and the men placed a spare wheel on top of him.

As they drove Sikhosana said he managed to free himself from his bonds and took the bag from his head.

He saw then that they were in Merrivale.

He said that when the bakkie stopped just after running a red robot he jumped off and fled to some nearby houses, still naked, to seek help.

He knocked on a door and a woman answered. She gave him some clothing to wear and called the police, he said.

In a written plea Bornman and Schoeman denied they kidnapped or assaulted Sikhosana in any way.

They alleged that when they fetched Sikhosana and another worker from Nkandla that night he had been drinking alcohol and fell onto the gravel while trying to get off the bakkie outside his home at Mpophomeni, grazing his forehead.

They alleged that Sikhosana failed to arrive at work the next day and that he “knew he would be fired” as a result.

Bornman said Sikhosana had a drinking problem, which caused Born Electrical CC to terminate his services “on more than one occasion”.

Sikhosana will be cross-examined when the case resumes tomorrow.

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