‘I was threatened’ - Struwig claims guards who implicated him were out to get him

2013-10-02 00:00

EX-SECURITY company boss Rudolph Struwig has claimed that three of his former security guards who implicated him in the murders of two farmworkers in 2004, had made threats against him after being fired from their jobs.

Afrikaans-speaking Struwig yesterday took to the witness stand.

He denied any involvement in the planning or execution of the murders of Simphiwe Trevor Ndlovu (and attempted murder of Ndlovu’s son, Dennis) in June 2004, and Mandla Petros Masango in October 2004 at Nottingham Road.

He told the court that he’d found it “difficult” at first to understand why his three former employees, Lucky Themba Mlangeni, Rasta Hadebe and Themba Zandamela, would falsely implicate him in the killings.

But he said, all three had left his employ under “unhappy circumstances”.

“Lucky [Mlangeni] threatened to shoot me,” he told acting judge Igna Stretch and an assessor.

Struwig said Mlangeni had been under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time.

He had taken his firearm away from him and told him to leave his premises.

He took the bullets and magazine out of the firearm, and then returned the weapon and ammunition to him separately.

“He stood outside the gate and warned me that he will come back and get me,” he said.

Struwig said “Rasta”, a former security guard at Estcourt, had befriended the son of a client who was involved with “drugs”.

He alleged they were implicated in the theft of goods from the property, but did not elaborate further.

As for Zandamela, Struwig alleged that he had taken a company bakkie (a Corsa) and driven to Ladysmith without permission one weekend.

He subsequently found him “passed out” from drink with his firearm still in his possession in Steadville.

Struwig said Zandamela had rolled the bakkie and it had to be scrapped.

As a result of the incident he was fired.

“I received threats from each of them,” he told the court.

Cross-examination of Struwig by state advocate Sandra Senekal was postponed until today to enable arrangements to be made for an Afrikaans/Zulu speaking interpreter to interpret the proceedings to members of the victims’ families who are attending the trial, and were unable to follow Struwig’s testimony.

Struwig testified that he had been the owner of a “one-man business”, Ingwe Security (not Mapogo as alleged by witnesses), which offered a private investigation and security guard service to farmers in the KZN Midlands.

He also operated in the Warden area of the Free State.

He told the court the owner of the farm on which murder victim Trevor Ndlovu was employed, was a client.

He said he had never met with the farmer to discuss plans to murder Ndlovu or anybody else.

He further told the court that he had never met, and did not even know the farmer who was implicated in the murder of Mandla Petros Masango by state witnesses.

He said he did not own a firearm, and had never supplied anyone with a gun nor vehicles to commit murder.

Struwig told the court that he did not supply his guards with weapons.

Some of them owned their own licensed firearms, which they were entitled to use.

When he employed them he would check the licences.

“I never handled their firearms or exercised control over them,” he said.

The case is proceeding.

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