Taxi driver ‘drove over man’

2009-08-04 00:00

A TAXI conductor told the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday how the driver of a taxi he was in deliberately ran over a man at Henley Dam, then alighted, walked over to his victim, and removed his wallet containing R50 one evening in September 2007.

Mlungisi Bhengu was giving evidence for the state at the trial of Sibusiso Derrick Duma (24), who faces 19 counts of murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances arising from five incidents in Pietermaritzburg and Hillcrest in September and October 2007.

Duma has pleaded not guilty to all the charges before acting high court Judge Kobus Booyens and assessors (see box on page 3).

In one incident Duma is charged with running over and killing security guard Mqeku Zondi at Henley Dam and robbing him of his 9 mm pistol and cellphone, and in another he is charged with raping and then driving a car — which he allegedly stole during a hijacking and murder — back and forth over the prone body of a 17-year-old schoolgirl at Azalea Cemetery. The girl lived, but sustained multiple injuries.

Simphiwe Christopher Khesi, Duma’s alleged accomplice to the rape and attempted murder of the young girl at the cemetery, has already pleaded guilty to the charges, and is expected to give evidence for the prosecution at Duma’s trial, state advocate Candy Kander told the court yesterday.

The state will set out to prove via ballistic and DNA proof, as well as other evidence, that Duma was behind a crime spree that started with Zondi’s murder at Henley Dam on September 9, 2007, and ended with the robbery, rape and murder at Hillcrest of Noxolo Happy Dlamini on October 25, 2007.

Dlamini was a teacher living at Botha’s Hill who was allegedly last seen alive when she boarded Duma’s yellow minibus taxi on the evening in question.

Her body was found along a remote part of the Kloof Falls Road by passers-by. She had been shot in the head.

Kander said Duma’s taxi was confiscated after his arrest on November 2, 2007, and subjected to forensic tests.

She said the state will lead evidence showing that Dlamini’s blood was found in the taxi.

Kander said the state will also prove that the gun allegedly stolen from Zondi at Henley Dam by Duma, was ballistically linked to the rape and murder of another Pietermaritzburg woman, Hlengiwe Shangase, at Georgetown on October 19, 2007, as well as the murders of Masizane Mtshatsha and Thamsanqa Mbindwane, whose VW Polo was hijacked at George­town on October 20, 2007.

At the time of the alleged offence­s, Duma was a taxi operator working in Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas.

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