Gun-toting boss forces workers to drink laced coffee, lands behind bars

2013-04-09 00:00

A HOWICK businessman spent the weekend in the custody of the Mpophomeni police after he was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

The businessman allegedly forced three of his employees to drink coffee laced with brandy late on Friday afternoon.

The employees, Letlise Kgwati, Charles Mofokeng and a man only identified as Tsolo, were doing building work on the businessman’s farm in Mpophomeni.

They said they had knocked off at about 6 pm and left the farm in Kgwatli’s vehicle on their way to their homes in Dambuza.

As they were about to pass the farmhouse, they said, the man stopped them and invited them in for coffee.

The men claimed they could tell that the coffee was laced with alcohol, probably brandy.

When they declined, the farmer allegedly forced them to drink the coffee at gunpoint.

“I don’t know what got into him because he knows I don’t drink alcohol,” said Mofokeng.

“I don’t even smoke, but that evening I was forced to do so. We couldn’t take any more and we had to force our way out,”

He alleged that as they got into Kgwati’s car the businessman shot at the wheels. Tsolo managed to run away while they were trapped in the car.

The businessman fired several shots at Tsolo, “and then forced us back into his house”, he said.

“The police arrived some time after they were alerted … by our colleague.”

The businessman and the two employees were taken to the police station where he was charged with attempted murder.

Kgwati said he wanted the businessman to pay for the damage and trauma he put them through.

The two men, who were at the court yesterday, said they would be there again next Monday, but they seemed to have a different understanding of what they hoped to achieve.

Mofokeng said they would withdraw the attempted murder charge by agreement with their employer.

Kgwati insisted he made no such agreement.

A police source close to the investigation said the case was not on yesterday’s court roll.

“I understand that the businessman and the complainants have reached an out-of-court settlement.

“I understand that they are coming to court on Monday to withdraw the charges.

“One can only deduce that the man had paid the complainants off,” he said.

Howick police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley confirmed that the businessman had spent the weekend in custody after he was charged with attempted murder.

“The man allegedly forced his employees to drink coffee laced with alcohol.

“We understand that no one was injured during the incident, but police confiscated his firearm.

“A number of spent cartridges were recovered from the scene.

“Police cannot leave the matter as it stands because a firearm was discharged in public.

“We will keep it open until the investigations are finalised,” said Moodley.

He would not confirm whether there had been an out-of-court settlement.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisoon said that in some cases opposing parties opted for an alternative dispute resolution process and an amicable agreement was reached.

“In this particular case I will have to get more details from the prosecutor for me to understand what constituted the settlement,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.