Three in court for brutal rape and murder

2009-09-09 00:00

THREE men pleaded not guilty in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to charges that they robbed a couple at Himeville, tried to kill the man and broke his jaw and then raped and murdered his companion by throttling her.

The incident took place along the R617 on June 10 last year.

The state alleges in its indictment that while raping Busi Phungula, her assailants strangled her and gouged her eyes out.

Appearing before Acting Judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo and two assessors were Sipho Mkhize (18), Nkosikhona Mnguni (24), and Gobizwe Zikode (33) all of Bulwer.

State advocate Irene Neyt said although the state alleges that only Mkhize and Mnguni raped the woman, all three accused formed a common purpose to rape her.

The indictment alleges that Phungula and her boyfriend, Bantu Dlamini, stopped at a tavern after shopping for groceries. There, they socialised with the accused and another man.

The accused allegedly decide to rob them and lay in wait for them as they left.

They accosted the couple and assaulted them. Dlamini managed to escape and fled, leaving Phungula behind.

She was then raped and killed.

The case is proceeding.

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