Wounded accused pleads not guilty

2008-03-26 00:00

A 21-year-old man has pleaded not guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to charges that he murdered a security guard at the Mtulwa Clinic in Dalton in an attempt to rob him of his firearm, on November 13 last year.

The court was told that evidence will be led that the accused, Velani Ntuli, was ironically brought back to the clinic later the same day for treatment, as he had been shot and wounded in his buttocks.

The state alleges that Ntuli was wounded in an exchange of fire with the murder victim, Sandile Thembinkosi Dlamini, but defence advocate Jan du Plessis said the accused claims he and Dlamini were both shot by unknown attackers.

Du Plessis told KwaZulu Natal Judge President Vuka Tshabalala and assessors that his client alleges that he had been walking in the vicinity of the clinic, on the day in question, when he was chased by “three or four people whose faces were covered” and who were armed with firearms.

He had run to the clinic and reported the matter, and Dlamini allegedly accompanied him to look for the attackers.

Whilst in the security guard’s company, Ntuli alleges he heard shots and was wounded in his buttocks. He alleges that Dlamini was also shot during that incident.

The state alleges that Ntuli planned to rob the security guard of his firearm, armed himself with a firearm and proceeded to the clinic on the afternoon of November 13, 2006, to execute his plan.

On his arrival at the clinic he allegedly approached Dlamini on the pretext of asking for help to fend off a “fictitious attack” on himself.

The security guard, believing his tale, allegedly followed him to the veld and once there Ntuli allegedly turned on him and opened fire, critically injuring him.

The prosecution alleges further that Dlamini managed to draw his own firearm and return fire, injuring Ntuli.

Ntuli thereafter allegedly abandoned his attempt to rob the guard and fled.

Dlamini died of his injuries in Grey’s Hospital two days later, on November 15.

Ntuli faces charges of murder, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of a .38 special revolver.

The case continues.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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