I could hear someone drowning - Rhodes Park witness

2016-10-27 12:47
Zukisa Kela's uncle Sibongile Kela talking to reporters at the scene of his nephew's murder. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Zukisa Kela's uncle Sibongile Kela talking to reporters at the scene of his nephew's murder. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - A third witness who took the stand in the Rhodes Park trial on Thursday morning, said he had heard screams and someone drowning.

"I heard screams and it sounded like someone was drowning. I knew someone was in trouble. It sounded like there was water in the person’s mouth," Thomas Rivombo told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.

Rivombo, who works at the Rhodes Park Bowling Club, looked calm and answered questions from prosecutor Mutuwa Nengovhela with confidence.

READ: 'God will deal with them' - Rhodes Park victim

He said he had taken a crate and stood on it to look over a wall at the park’s lake.

"I looked at the water and only saw a head sticking out. There were bubbles around the head," he said.

He was testifying in the trial of Thabo Nkala, 25, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder.

Desperate rush to call police

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park, in Kensington, on the evening of Saturday, October 17 2015. They are accused of forcing the women’s husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Rivombo said he ran to the bar of the bowling club, which is adjacent to the park, and told the treasurer what he had seen and that he should call the police.

The treasurer told him his battery was flat. Rivombo said he ran back to the scene and found one of the women who had been raped.

"She told me they were raped and the people I saw in the dam were their husbands. I only had R5 airtime on my cellphone and decided to call my cousin, a police officer at the Cleveland police station. Luckily for me, he was doing night shift that evening," Rivombo testified.

After he had called his cousin, the second woman arrived, but he could not speak to her because she was in a terrible state.

"She was crying and rolling on the ground, and I could hear her pray to God to save her husband that was drowning in the dam," he said.

They waited for police to arrive and he accompanied the officers to the scene.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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