Court hears of Cullinan robbery ordeal

2012-09-10 22:39
<a href=\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\>Shutterstock</a>


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Locked in a cupboard while her house was burning down, an elderly Cullinan woman told her attacker her last wish was to go to heaven, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

The evidence was given in a statement by one of the men accused of murdering 64-year-old Piet van den Berg and attempting to murder his wife Madelein on their smallholding near Cullinan in July 2009.

Judge Vivian Tlhapi earlier ruled that the accused Mphanyana Given Kanyane’s statement to a magistrate was admissible as evidence, even though he claimed it had not been made voluntarily.

Kanyane, Mduduzi Sbusiso Hlengethwa and Wonder Mbongezini Makwakwa have pleaded not guilty to charges including robbing the couple of a cellphone and other goods, and maliciously damaging their property.

Van den Berg was shot dead when robbers invaded his home. His wife was tied up and locked in a cupboard and left for dead when the robbers set the house alight.

Kanyane said in his statement he and Makwakwa had decided to rob the Van den Bergs because they wanted money to go to Johannesburg. After abandoning their initial attempt, they met Hlengethwa who told them he had a fishing knife and was a "professional robber".

They returned to house, where they waited for the elderly man to come out, then pounced on him, demanding money and firearms. He gave them a firearm and pointed out the safe.

According to Kanyane, Hlengethwa was holding the firearm while he was looking at the safe. He heard a sound as if Van den Berg was trying to escape, followed by a shot.

He took the firearm from Hlengethwa, who told him Van den Berg had untied himself. Kanyane then demanded the safe keys from his wife. Inside, they found old currency, papers, another firearm, ammunition, and jewellery which they loaded into a bag.

Hlengethwa put Madelein Van den Berg into a wardrobe. He dressed in her husband’s clothes, took a cigarette and started lighting papers in the house.

"I went to the wardrobe where the lady was and told her, her house was on fire. I asked her what her last words were. She told me she wants to go to heaven. I took the bag and firearms and ran out," he said.

Van den Berg pointed out the three accused as the men who had attacked her and her husband of 40 years that day.

She had tried to drag her husband’s body out of the house after freeing herself, but he was too heavy for her.

A neighbour managed to get his body from the house before it burnt to the ground. The trial continues.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.


Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!

Hundreds of complaints are filed every year from victims who were scammed when buying a dog online.



WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
11 animals before and after they were adopted from shelters
Competition pet grooming – creative or too extreme?
5 Celebrities who are afraid of animals
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.