No rope marks on man who claims dragging

2012-03-07 00:00

A DOCTOR who examined a man who claims to have been “dragged” behind a bakkie by his employers in Howick in 2010, agreed under cross-examination that she’d found no rope burns on the alleged victim.

Dr Vanessa Bhika was giving evidence in the regional court yesterday in the ongoing trial of Howick businessmen Johan Bornman and Theunis Schoeman of Born Electrical CC, who have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and attempted murder of Tankiso Sikhosana.

The accused allege that Sikhosana had been drinking on the day in question — September 21, 2010 — and that he had made up the allegations against them because he knew that he was going to be fired the next day.

It was suggested to Sikhosana when he was cross-examined by defence advocate Shane Matthews previously that any injuries he sustained were caused when he fell off the back of a bakkie while drunk.

He denied this. He alleged in evidence that during his ordeal the two men had tied his hands and legs with rope and said he was assaulted and kicked with booted feet on his body and eyes. A white plastic bag was put over his head and the rope was tied to a vehicle and he was dragged along on his stomach behind the moving bakkie for two to three minutes.

Sikhosana further testified that his overalls and pants were “torn” off his body, leaving him naked, after which he was again kicked in his face and stomach.

He was thrown onto the back of the bakkie and a spare wheel was put on top of him.He eventually managed to free himself and when the bakkie stopped he jumped off the back and fled naked to some nearby houses to seek help.

Dr Bhika, a district surgeon in Howick, was one of two doctors who examined Sikhosana after the alleged incident. In her report she detailed injuries she found on his forehead, below the right eye, both elbows, and knees.

Under cross-examination by Matthews she agreed she had not found any evidence of rope burns on Sikhosana, which she would have expected if he had been bound with a rope and dragged.

She also did not note any grass burns or injuries to his stomach, chest or ribs.

It was suggested to her by Matthews that if the abrasion to Sikhosana’s forehead was caused by being dragged behind a bakkie face down one would also expect injuries to his nose, mouth, cheeks and other parts of the face.

Bhika said she could not agree as she did not know how he held his head. “He might have tucked his head into his chest,” she said.

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