Dad tells court of shooting

2014-02-11 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG man described yesterday how he and his son were both shot by a gunman in December 2011 soon after he had returned from a bank at Liberty Midlands Mall with R40 000 cash.

Mthunzi Xulu told Judge Isaac Madondo and two assessors that while he lay on the ground “losing power” from a gunshot wound in his chest, his unknown assailant had searched his pockets and removed the money before fleeing.

Xulu said he had also noticed two other unknown “suspicious looking” men in the yard near his house in Dambuza while the attack was taking place.

An emotional Xulu said while he was recuperating from his injuries in hospital he was told that his son, Nkululeko, had died of the bullet wounds he had sustained.

Lucky Shabangu (34) and Sandile Khulu (30), both of KwaMashu, and Nkosinathi Ndlovu (29) of Ntuzuma, Durban, are on trial for the incident.

The trio pleaded not guilty to five charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition arising from the incident.

The state’s indictment alleges that the three accused — and three others who are not named — had decided to follow Xulu and his son from the bank to their home in order to rob them of their money.

They allegedly travelled in two cars and when they arrived at Xulu’s home, they confronted Xulu and his son, shooting both of them before fleeing with the cash.

The court was told that the state intended to lead evidence to show that an allegedly unlicensed firearm said to have been found in Shabangu’s possession when he was arrested on January 11, 2012, was ballistically linked to the murder of Nkululeko Xulu and the attempted murder of his father.

The court was told three cartridges that were found at the crime scene matched the firearm, a 9 mm Norinco semi-automatic pistol.

Xulu testified yesterday that on the day of the attack, December 31, 2011, he and one of his sons had gone to the Standard Bank at Liberty Midlands Mall to draw money to pay for goats and his workers’ wages.

Xulu runs a business from his home selling livestock.

He said the teller at the bank had counted the cash in front of him and placed it into money bags.

Xulu had not noticed anyone suspicious at the bank, nor was he aware of any suspicious vehicles following him when he drove home in his BMW.

His home is situated off Dambuza Road.

The gates to the property are padlocked and someone opened the gate to enable him to drive and park inside.

He said he was talking to his son on the verandah when he saw a man approaching them from the gate, swearing at him.

Xulu said his son asked the man why he was swearing and went up to him.

“I heard a shot going off and I rushed to where Nkululeko was,” he said.

Both Xulu and Nkululeko tried to wrestle the firearm away from the gunman, but the attacker turned the gun so it faced downwards and another shot went off. The gunman demanded money.

“I told him to take the money, but to leave my son,” said Xulu.

The father said he had heard the second shot “land” on Nkululeko, but couldn’t say where he was hit.

A third shot struck the father on the side of his chest and he “lost breath” and fell down.

Xulu said after the robber had removed the cash from his pockets and run away, he tried to help his son, but didn’t have the strength to get him into his car.

Nkululeko’s girlfriend, Xoli Bhengu, who arrived just then, drove them both to Edendale Hospital.

The case is proceeding.

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