Murder trial: stabbed boy’s mother testifies

2010-05-21 00:00

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Kwanele Mnikathi had been staying with a domestic worker, Mildred Dlamini, to keep her company while her employers were away on holiday in December 2008 when they were both murdered by intruders at the Bishopstowe farm, the high court heard yesterday.

Kwanele’s mother, Princess Ndlovu, wiped away tears when she testified about the day she had run to the farm where her son and Dlamini were staying after being told by a neighbour that “a lot of whites” had gathered at the farm.

Ndlovu told Judge Anton van Zyl and two assessors that members of the SA Police Force had invited her to enter the property, but she was afraid to go in. She later identified her son’s body at the Alexandra Road police mortuary.

Ndlovu said Dlamini was “like a sister” to her. When Dlamini asked her if she would allow her son to stay with her at the farm because she was going to be alone while her employers were away, she had agreed.

Four accused — Zamokwakhe Nxumalo (22),Phumulani Luthuli (21) and two youths aged 17 and 16 years — have pleaded not guilty to the murders as well as to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, housebreaking and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The state alleges that the accused — two of whom had previously worked in the garden at Sunnycrest farm owned by Colin Lucke — lay in wait at the farm for Dlamini who had keys to the house. They allegedly stabbed her to death after she began screaming, and stabbed and killed the little boy because they feared he would be able to identify them.

They then made off with computer equipment, clothing, jewellery, a camera, a microwave oven, several firearms and ammunition, as well as a Mazda double-cab bakkie.

The incident occurred on December 12, 2008.

State witness Vusumuzi Mthiyane told the court yesterday that he met up with some of the accused on the night in question.

Luthuli and a youth produced guns and showed them to him. He then accompanied them to a sugar cane plantation where he saw a silver-grey double-cab bakkie parked.

Luthuli had a remote control device in his hand and directed it toward the vehicle. He then opened the doors and tilted back the seats revealing four “long” firearms in the vehicle.

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