N3 hawker killing: five acquitted

2009-09-08 00:00

AFTER two state witnesses gave contradictory evidence against five accused of the murder of an informal trader and the robbing of her and her two friends, they were discharged from prosecution by Acting Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The witnesses admitted they were part of a gang that lay in wait on the N3 highway for the traders who came from Estcourt to Pietermaritzburg to buy supplies in April 2008.

Trader Ntomboxolo Zongile was fatally stabbed and she and two friends were robbed.

Before they testified, the witnesses were warned that they would be absolved from prosecution if they told the truth.

After their testimony, Hughes-Madondo discharged the witnesses from prosecution because it was impossible to say which one testfied truthfully and which one did not. Their identities are withheld to protect them.

Discharged yesterday were Sanele Zuma (18), Msizi Luthuli (18), Thulani Zuma (25), Bongani Mbhele (25) and a 17-year-old youth, all from Pietermaritzburg.

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