Shaw trial: caretaker heard an ‘explosion’

2009-06-03 00:00

THE state and defence will present legal arguments today in the trial of Hilton Shaw (58), who is charged with the murder of his wife Susan at Lake Lyndhurst, a remote estate in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands on June 3, 2007.

Susan Shaw died of a gunshot wound at the couple’s home. Hilton Shaw has denied involvement in the shooting, saying he believes she could have been attacked by an intruder after he left the house for “10 to 15 minutes” in order to use his cellphone.

A caretaker at a neighbouring house, Simon Madlala, was yesterday recalled to the witness stand at the request of the presiding Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner and her assessor.

Madlala testified last year that on the day of the incident, he was painting the roof when he observed “shadows” of what he believed were people moving about in front of the verandah of the Shaws’ house. Towards, 5 pm he heard the sound of an “explosion” or “something being fired”.

A short while later he saw a white bakkie — like the one owned by Shaw — leave the premises.

Judge Niles-Duner asked him yesterday if he had been able to form an impression of what caused the “explosion” he had heard.

Madlala replied that he “had the impression it was the sound of a firearm”. He told the court the wind had been blowing towards him and he’d thought the sound came from “across the lake”.

The case was postponed for argument today.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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