Court hears how laughing gunmen shot woman and her friend

2009-06-09 00:00

IT was an emotional day for friends and family of Jennifer-Rae Hall, the young Durban woman who was killed in a botched hijacking, as details of her death emerged in the high court in Durban yesterday.

Hall and two of her friends, Kate Fleming and Amy Lansdell, were on their way to Scottburgh on June 14, 2008 when they were attacked by a group of armed men.

The friends, travelling in a VW Polo, had stopped at a parking lot in Amanzimtoti to swop drivers when they were attacked. Hall was shot dead and Fleming was seriously injured.

One suspect, Sifundo Professor Mkhize, was arrested and charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder and attempted murder.

Dressed in red for the “Red for Jen” campaign, which was initiated to raise funds for the trial, supporters packed the gallery and listened intently as witnesses took the stand.

Well-known rape survivor Jessica Foord also lent her support to Hall’s family and friends.

Mkhize sat in the dock with his head bowed while Fleming took the stand and described the details of the shooting.

Mkhize intends pleading not guilty to the charges.

According to his lawyer, T.P. Pillay, Mkhize spent the day of the attack at home and only visited a local tuck shop for a few minutes.

During the proceedings, state prosecutor Bheki Manyathi handed in formal admissions, postmortem results and a photo album as evidence.

In her testimony, Fleming said that they had parked in a parking lot to change drivers when a man walked up to the car window and pointed a gun at them.

“A man came to the window with a gun and fired the gun … ” she said.

Fleming said she got out of the car and ran towards a nearby bottle store, unaware that she had been shot in the pelvis.

“Halfway running towards the bottle store, Amy called for Jennifer-Rae. When I turned around, I saw two black men sitting in the front of the car,” she said.

She told the court that the men were pointing a gun at them and laughing.

“I ran into the bottle store. The owner’s wife attended to me. She told me that I had also been shot,” said Fleming.

The case continues today.

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