Witness tells of brutal murder

2010-07-14 00:00

AN accomplice in a murder case said yesterday that he saw the badly injured Lindani Khumalo being helped out of the Msunduzi River, after which two accused men hit him with a knobkierie while a third accused broke a brandy bottle and then presumably stabbed him.

Witness Eric Mhlungu told Judge Gregory Kruger and assessors that the accused ordered him to drive an Opel Corsa that they had stolen from Khumalo. He stopped at a bridge on the river late at night in October 2008.

He said he heard accused Zamokuhle Ncalwane (27) say that he wanted to make sure Khumalo was dead.

The boot was opened and a weight taken out of it (according to the indictment it was the badly injured Khumalo). Mhlungu said he heard water splash and then saw Khumalo in the river.

The accused then told Khumalo to swim to them, and they would take him out of the water.

Khumalo stretched out his hands and they pulled him to the side. Khumalo lay on his back at the side of the river and while still prostrate, Ncalwane hit his head several times with a knobkierie. A second accused, Simanga Ngcobo (24), took over the cudgel and also hit Khumalo’s head several times. “Khumalo did not seem to have any strength left,” Mhlungu said.

The third accused, Thamsanqa Mchunu (26), went to the car, fetched a brandy bottle, broke it and then made stabbing motions with the broken bottle. Khumalo’s body was found in the water two days after he left his Isabel Beardmore Drive home on a Friday evening. Khumalo, who was married and had a child, was a student.

According to the indictment, Khumalo and the three accused were driving around frequenting taverns and drinking. They ran out of money and the accused resolved to rob Khumalo of his car and other items to continue drinking.

A knob­kierie in the back of Khumalo’s car was the murder weapon.

Khumalo died of head and body wounds.

The trial continues today.

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