Youth tells of his rescue from killer gang

2009-11-09 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG youth, Ayanda Shabane (18). told the high court on Friday he was kept in the dark about the murder of his twin brother for a week last year because he was himself recovering in hospital from severe injuries and his family had withheld the information from him.

Ayanda said he found out that his brother Andile had been killed only on the day of his funeral — the eighth day after he was injured when both twins were hunted down by an armed group of assailants who arrived at their home on the night of February 7, 2008.

He told the court that members of the community, accompanied by police, had rescued him and his brother from the dam in which they had taken refuge from their attackers.

A neighbour had pulled him out of the water and carried him in his arms to where police and his family were.

At that stage Andile was not hurt, but he (Ayanda) was suffering from a stab wound and injuries inflicted with a bush knife during the horrifying attack.

He sustained a severe cut to his forearm and lost two fingers on one hand while warding off blows from the bush knife, the court heard.

Ayanda said he, Andile and their sister got into a police van and drove to the homestead of a local councillor where they dropped off Andile.

Ayanda said he was taken to Thornville police station and from there to hospital by ambulance. After his admission he lost consciousness and did not regain consciousness for two days, he said.

“On the eighth day I left the hospital to attend [my brother’s] funeral”.

The court heard that Andile was fetched from the residence of the Khoza family on the night of the attack by the four armed men.

The state alleges that he was taken to the Mlulama High School premises where he was killed with an “assortment of weapons including bush knives and battle axes”.

Sphamandla Khoza identified three of the eight accused on trial before Judge Anton van Zyl and assessors as the assailants who arrived to fetch Andile.

The names of the alleged attackers are: Qikelela Samson Mkhize (30); Mthobisi Phungula (23) and Xolani Madondo (23).

Khoza said the fourth person was Andreas Vusumuzi Mkhize (34) who is no longer before court, having absconded while on bail.

He said Andreas Mkhize carried a pistol and an axe on the night in question; Phungula had a knife and a gun; Qikelela Mkhize also had a knife and a pistol and Madondo had a bush knife and firearm.

The motive for the attack on the twins was allegedly revenge because Andile Shabane had been accused of the murder of a fellow pupil at Mlulama High School, Sbongiseni Phakathi.

The case is proceeding.

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