Accused drop bail bid

2010-08-14 00:00

TWO of the alleged killers of Lorraine Karg and farm employees Hilda Linyane and Zakhewo Mhlongo decided to abandon their bid for bail yesterday while, outside, the local community aired their views on the matter in no uncertain terms and denounced all criminals.

The ANC erected a mobile stage from which speakers addressed the cheering, clapping crowd with loudspeakers to declare war on murderers and the party’s support for the victims.

Picketers held placards in support of farmers and protested against the granting of bail to the accused.

A swelling crowd that included farmers, their wives, farm workers and political figures (including representatives of the Democratic Alliance) vowed to stand together against crime.

Said ANC KZN general secretary Sihle Zikalala, “The ANC stands for a non-racial South Africa. We call on all the people to come back on August 27 to be with us in order to support the families of the victims.

“We will support these families until the case is over and the perpetrators have been sentenced. We demand that they get severe sentences.”

Police maintained a presence in the vicinity and cordoned off the area outside the court where the protesters had gathered.

The two accused, Nhlanhla Dladla (22) and Mzwandile Magubane (21), made a fleeting appearance before a packed public gallery in the confined Mooi River courtroom and elected to abandon their bid for bail.

Magistrate Gerrie Muller adjourned the case to August 27.

The two men are alleged by the state to be among four suspects who took part in the attack at the Karg’s Sherwood farm on the night of July 21.

One of the suspects, who previously worked on the farm, Colin Maphalala (31), was shot dead by police. Charges were withdrawn against a fourth man.

Karg’s family gathered sombrely outside the court.

The family said they and their staff were shattered when the identities of the alleged killers emerged because they were known to them and they had worked for them.

“We are a close community … like a family. These were people we all trusted,” said Karg’s daughter, Kita Olsen.

The family revealed that one of the accused, Nhlanhla Dladla, worked for the Kargs from the age of 16 years.

They said they had taught him everything he knows and just before the murders he had been promoted to the position of head tractor driver.

The day after the attack and for several days up to his arrest he had returned to work “as if nothing had happened”.

Despite the tragedy, the family said they will not leave their farm nor South Africa. “If anyone was a devoted South African it was Lorraine,” Neville Karg added.

The Karg family and their workers were allegedly lured from the house that night to fight a veld fire that had been deliberately started.

Police say that Lorraine Karg, Mhlongo, Linyane and two others returned home to fetch more fire fighting equipment when they came across the two accused and Maphalala ransacking the farmhouse.

Karg and Mhlongo were killed by having their throats slit. Linyane was shot dead.

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