Bush knife victim confronts attacker

2012-06-11 00:00

A TRAUMATISED woman confronted her former lover in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Friday, holding up her two disabled hands and asking him who would love her in future.

Bonakele Janet Msomi (35) broke down at various stages during her testimony earlier in the trial, shaking uncontrollably and weeping bitterly as she recounted an attack on her with a bush knife, which she alleges was perpetrated by her former boyfriend, Bhekumuzi Luthuli (34) on December 7, 2011.

As a result of her permanent disability she now has to rely on others to cook for her, feed her and bathe her. Sometimes when there is nobody to help her, because she lives alone, she has to eat her food bending down as she cannot pick it up, she said this week.

She gave part of her evidence through an intermediary in another room after she became distraught on the witness stand.

However, she later completed her evidence in the courtroom calmly.

Luthuli has pleaded not guilty before regional magistrate Paul Ableman to a charge that he attempted to murder Msomi by striking her on her head and all over her body with a bush knife at Nhlangakazi, Appelsbosch, in the Midlands.

He claims he acted in self-defence, his attorney told the court.

When cross-examining Msomi, Luthuli’s lawyer suggested to her that she had attacked Luthuli first with the bush knife after he’d questioned her about seeing a man in her company on the footpath where the incident occurred.

Msomi replied that Luthuli was lying. In her evidence she said she did not know why Luthuli had attacked her on the day in question because she’d ended their relationship months earlier on October 3 and they had seen and greeted each other since then.

She said on the morning in question Luthuli arrived at her home and knocked and said he wanted to fetch his shirt which he’d left behind when their relationship ended. After taking the shirt, he’d left.

Msomi, who was a cane cutter, said she was walking to work along a path between the sugar cane and a forest at 5.30 am when she felt a touch on her shoulder, turned and saw Luthuli. He began slashing her and tripped her so. He kept “chopping” at her and she’d tried to “block” the blows at her face and head with her hands.

The case will proceed on July 2.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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