Attackers ‘pulled man from river, beat him’

2010-07-13 00:00

AN assault and robbery victim jumped into the Umsunduzi River to escape further assault, but was twice pulled from the river and fatally bludgeoned with a knobkierie and stabbed with a broken bottle.

These allegations were made at the start of the trial of three men charged with the murder and aggravated robbery of Isabel Beardmore Drive student Lindani Khumalo (29) in early October 2008.

The accused, Zamokuhle Ncalane, (27), and Simanga Ngcobo, (24), of Imbali and Thamsanqa Mchunu, (26), of Caluza, yesterday pleaded not guilty to murdering Khumalo and robbing him of an Opel Corsa and other items.

Khumalo left his home on a Friday evening and his body was recovered from the river two days later. The accused are appearing in the Pietermaritzburg high court before Judge Gregory Kruger and assessors.

The indictment alleges that victim Khumalo, who left his wife at their home on Friday October 3, and the accused were travelling in Khumalo’s Corsa in Imbali and drinking. The accused planned to rob Khumalo and had a knobkierie.

Early on the Saturday they attacked and robbed him and forced him into the boot of his Corsa. On a bridge near Barnsley Road they forced him out of the boot and assaulted him again, but he managed to jumped into the river and swam to a bank.

They pulled him from the water and assaulted him again and threw him back into the river thinking he was dead. As they drove away in Khumalo’s car they saw he was still alive, again pulled him from the river and assaulted him again, and again threw him into the river.

Khumalo died at the scene of head trauma. The trial continues today.

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