'Vampire' son alleged to have consumed bread dipped in victim’s blood

2011-08-04 00:00

A SON who was dubbed a “vampire” over allegations that he consumed some of the blood of an attempted murder victim, is standing trial with his father in the Pietermaritzburg high court on various charges. These include the murder of three men at Mkondeni in December last year.

Bongani Gwala (54) and his son, Njabulo Gwala (22), of Imbali, have pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Both men are charged with the murders of Michael Khumalo, Vusumuzi Mnzonyama and Mlondolozi Mbanjwa at Mkondeni between December 16 and 17 last year. Njabulo is charged alone with the attempted murder of Thokazane Mkhize by shooting him in his arm during an argument at Mkondeni on December 16 last year.

It was reported at the time that Mkhize alleged his attacker consumed bread dipped in his blood.

The state alleges in its indictment that on the evening of December 16, Gwala and his father decided to kill Khumalo, also known as Sinqe.

They allegedly armed themselves with firearms and went to Mkondeni to search for him. When they found him they allegedly shot him twice in the head, killing him.

Mnzonyama allegedly witnessed the shooting, so Bongani Gwala allegedly told his son to shoot him as he could identify them. Njabulo Gwala allegedly then shot and killed Mnzonyama.

The accused later allegedly encountered their third victim, Mlondolozi Mbanjwa, who was also allegedly shot in the head by Njabulo.

Njabulo Gwala did not make any statement to the court detailing the basis of his defence.

His father, Bongani, said he denies that he caused or took part in a common purpose to cause the death of any of the victims. At the time the three deceased were allegedly shot, he was at home in Sacca location, he said.

Bongani Gwala said while at home he heard the sound of gunfire. Once it ceased, he and the other occupants of the house went to the home of a neighbour where they spent the night.

Regarding his alleged possession of the firearm and ammunition, Bongani Gwala said on his return from church on January 30 this year, he went to make a cup of tea. When he opened a container he believed contained teabags, he found a firearm wrapped in newspaper.

He said he intended to hand the weapon over to police after work the next day, but was approached by police officers during his lunch break. He told them the firearm was in his locker and gave them the key.

The case is proceeding.

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