Farm wife bled to slow death court told

2012-03-23 00:00

FARM murder victim Lorraine Karg bled to death in pain over 15 to 20 minutes after her throat was cut by her assailants on the night of July 21, 2010.

Her former gardener, Shayi Zakius Mhlongo, suffered a similar fate, but because the cut to his throat was longer — extending right across his neck — he would have bled to death more quickly, in five to eight minutes.

Domestic worker Hilda Linyane was killed by a gunshot wound to her chest which penetrated her lung.

This evidence was given at the trial of Mzwandile Magubane (21) in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday by Dr D. Naidoo who performed post-mortems on the bodies of the three victims.

Naidoo confirmed that either one of two knives — which have the appearance of steak knives and which were recovered by police when they arrested the accused and other suspects in the case — could have been the murder weapon.

Lieutenant Mebra Nzimande of the organised crime unit testified that he found the knives and a 9 mm Norinco pistol with five live rounds of ammunition and two firearm magazines lying on a table in the room of a suspect, Velaphi Magubane.

Magubane, who is the brother of the accused on trial, was expected to give evidence in the case for the prosecution, but after denying knowledge of the events he had detailed in his police statement, he was arrested and charged with the same offences earlier this week.

Nzimande told the court the two brothers were arrested on July 28, 2010, at their home in Hlatikulu where he found them sleeping.

He recovered a bag from the accuseds’ room containing a balaclava, a pair of gloves and two remote controls, one of which was later found to control the gate to the Karg’s farm, he said.

Nzimande said he and other members of the organised crime unit arrested two more suspects that night — Nhlanhla Dladla (against whom the prosecution was stopped this week) and Colin Maphalala, who was shot dead by police in an office at the Mooi River police station.

Nzimande said Maphalala was killed after he grabbed the firearm of a colleague while they were busy fingerprinting the suspects.

The shooting was investigated by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

Nzimande gave his evidence during the course of a trial within a trial being held to determine whether a pointing out by the accused to a police officer after his arrest is admissible as evidence.

The accused has denied he voluntarily conducted the pointing out and claims the police assaulted him, throttled him with a rubber tube and administered electric shocks to get him to do so.

A district surgeon, Dr Mohamed Adam, testified yesterday that he had not found any injuries consistent with such assaults when he examined Magubane at the request of police at the time of the pointing out.

The state alleges that Magubane and three other men were responsible for luring Neville Karg and the other occupants of the farm Sherwood out of the farmhouse by setting fire to the veld.

Lorraine Karg, Mhlongo and Linyane were killed and Bonginkosi Mhlongo and Innocent Linyane were assaulted by the assailants after they returned to the house to fetch a bush knife for use by the fire- fighters.

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