September trial for taxi killer suspects

2011-04-01 00:00

TWO men have been indicted to stand trial in the high court in Pietermaritzburg from September 19 to 30 in connection with the murders of three drivers of metered taxis. They are also accused of robbery with aggravating circumstances of a fourth taxi driver last year.

The accused are Samkelo Maphumulo (32) of Umbumbulu and Siyabonga Zimu (27) of Folweni in Durban.

According to the indictment, which was served yesterday on the instructions of state advocat, Dheelan Naidoo, the accused will face three charges of murder, four of robbery with aggravating circumstances and of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The state alleges that the murder victims — Sphamandla Victor Zondi, Zephrid Nkanyakhe Nxumalo and Xolani Henry Hlela — all worked as drivers of metered taxis operating in Pietermaritzburg.

The two accused are residents of Folweni near Durban.

During May last year they allegedly decided to travel to Pietermaritzburg and rob metered taxi drivers of the vehicles and valuables and then to kill them. They set their plan in motion from May 30 last year.

On each occasion, it is alleged, they called the drivers to pick them up from various locations, held them up at gunpoint, robbed them and shot and killed them.

A fourth victim, Siphakanyiswa Nsele was allegedly ordered at gunpoint to undress before he was forced out of the taxi in Frans area.

Nsele escaped injury. That incident took place on September 11 last year.

The accused are in custody awaiting trial.

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