‘Dragging victim’ lied, court told

2012-05-25 00:00

The defence has submitted that a man who claimed to have been dragged behind a bakkie during a prolonged assault on him by his employers in Howick in 2010 was lying.

Defence advocate Shane Matthews applied to regional court magistrate Jaco Jordaan yesterday to grant the two businessmen accused of the crime — Johan Bornman and Theunis Schoeman — a discharge at the end of the State’s case.

Matthews submitted there was no way that a reasonable court could convict the accused based on the “poor” evidence given in the case by the complainant, Tankiso Sikhosana.

He said Sikhosana was a single witness whose evidence was not corroborated; nor was it borne out by medical evidence given by two doctors.

Matthews said Sikhosana had claimed he was tied up and dragged behind a motor vehicle for at least two minutes, but submitted the medical evidence did not corroborate this version.

Although Dr Vanessa Bhika of Howick had stated in her report that injuries she recorded were in “keeping with being dragged” she’d admitted that she had been influenced by the story she was told prior to her examination.

Confronted with the nature of the injuries, Bhika testified they were not consistent with someone being dragged on their stomach.

She also found no injuries to Sikhosana’s wrists or ankles consistent with a rope being tied around the joints, and none to the rib cage, or anywhere else, consistent with being kicked with a steel-capped boot, and none to the lip, neck or buttocks.

A second physician, a Dr Naidoo of Northdale Hospital, also found no injuries to Sikhosana’s lips, wrists, ankles, ribs, neck or buttocks, nor drag marks on his stomach, chest or face.

Matthews said that besides the lack of injuries indicating there was no dragging of the body, it was important that when Sikhosana made his original statement to the police after the alleged incident, he never mentioned that he had been dragged.

“This failure, when taken into account with the lack of injuries, not only raises serious doubt about the evidence of the complainant but destroys his credibility totally,” submitted Matthews.

The state opposed the application and submitted that the accused had a case to answer. Bornman and Schoeman face charges of kidnapping and attempted murder to which they pleaded not guilty.

They alleged that Sikhosana made up the story against them because he realised that he was going to be fired for drinking on duty and failing to turn up at work on September 21, 2010.

Sikhosana told the court the accused kicked him and and dragged on his stomach behind a bakkie for about two minutes. The court is expected to rule on the application for a discharge today.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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