Former security company boss Struwig set to testify

2013-10-01 00:00

FORMER Ladysmith security company boss Rudolf Struwig (49) is expected to testify today in connection with charges that he was behind the murders of two KwaZulu-Natal farm workers in 2004.

This was confirmed by his advocate Brad Osborne at the end of the state’s case yesterday.

Struwig has previously pleaded not guilty in the Pietermaritzburg high court to orchestrating the murder of Simphiwe Trevor Ndlovu and attempted murder of his son Dennis Ndlovu in Howick on June 10, 2004, as well as the murder of Mandla Petros Masango at Nottingham Road on October 5, 2004.

The state alleges the victims were assassinated at the behest of Struwig and the owners of the farms where they worked, who regarded them as troublesome.

Struwig allegedly supplied the firearm with which Ndlovu was shot, and vehicles that the killers used.

The final state witness to take the stand for the prosecution was a former friend of Struwig, Sybrand Kleinhans, who completed his testimony when the trial resumed yesterday.

Kleinhans alleged that Struwig once told him that he had murdered two people and that the state was going to “bury him”, or words to that effect.

Kleinhans admitted that his friendship with Struwig had soured to the point where each of them laid criminal charges against the other earlier this year.

However, under cross examination by the defence, Kleinhans insisted that he has told the court the truth and denied his motive for implicating Struwig was a desire for “revenge” against him.

Another key state witness called by the prosecution earlier during the trial was Lucky Themba Mlangeni, who is serving a life sentence for his role in Ndlovu and Masango’s murders, to which he pleaded guilty in 2008.

At the time Mlangeni was a security guard employed by Struwig’s company, Mapogo A Mathamaga.

Mlangeni alleged in his evidence that he and accomplices had carried out the killings on Struwig’s instructions, and said they were paid R5 000 per hit by the farmers concerned.

He alleged that prior to Ndlovu’s murder, he and two accomplices had negotiated a fee of R45 000 with the farmer, but said after the assassination Struwig had said they could not charge his client “so much money” and paid them R5 000.

Mlangeni testified that he was told Ndlovu had to be killed beacuse he was suspected of having murdered the previous farm owner and a problem over stock that went missing from the farm.

The alleged motive given for Masango’s murder was that he was suspected of stealing, and had been dismissed from his job, but refused to leave the farm.

The defence disputed the alleged motives for the murders, and Osborne told Mlangeni the farmers would emphatically deny his accusations.

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