Farm security boss denies ordering killings

2013-03-26 00:00

A LADYSMITH-BASED security company boss, Rudolph Struwig (49), pleaded not guilty in the high court yesterday to charges that he gave orders for the murders of two stud farm employees in the Midlands in 2004.

Struwig pleaded not guilty before Acting Judge Igna Stretch and an assessor yesterday to the murder of Simphiwe Trevor ­Ndlovu, the attempted murder of his son, Dennis Ndlovu, at St Ives stud in Howick on June 10, 2004, and the murder of Mandla Petros Masango at Rathmor Stud on October 5, 2004.

His advocate, Brad Osborne said Struwig denies “each and every allegation” against him.

Dennis Ndlovu described yesterday how he and his father came under fire from unknown gunmen as he slowed down and changed gear at the entrance to St Ives stud on the evening in question.

“I heard the sound of gunshots coming from the left side… I didn’t see who was shooting, but I saw a shadow,” he said.

“A number of shots went off and my father started screaming at me telling me that I must go, I must go,” he said.

He said he drove to the house of the owner, Adrian Wingfield, and hooted for help.

Ndlovu said he still had a bullet in his left elbow. He told the court his father had been “bleeding a lot and becoming weak”, and he could see he was seriously hurt.

Under cross-examination he said it was on his mind then that he was “going to lose a parent”.

He alleged there were problems between his father and Wingfield, who took over St Ives from Bev Rodseth.

Ndlovu said his father had told him that Wingfield did not trust him.

Under cross-examination by Osborne, he said he was not aware of the allegations, said to be contained in statements made by Wingfield and Rodseth, to the effect that before he died his father had indicated that a person by the name of “Christopher” was involved in the shooting.

Osborne put it to Ndlovu that Wingfield had said his father was a valued employee who was renowned for his culinary skills and he trusted him with money to pay other workers.

According to Wingfield, before Simphiwe Ndlovu was killed, it was plannned to open a restaurant at St Ives which he (Ndlovu) was to have managed, said Osborne.

State advocate Sandra Senekal told the court that the prosecution would call a number of witnesses to prove the charges against Struwig, including accomplices who were involved in the shooting incidents.

One witness expected to give evidence is Lucky Themba Mlangeni, who is serving a life sentence after he pleaded guilty to involvement in the shootings in 2008.

The state alleges in its indictment that Struwig, who owned a security company, Mapogo A Mathamaga, procured guards working for him to carry out the murders in question.

It is alleged that he provided a vehicle and the firearm that was used in the attack on the Ndlovus and that he supplied a Bantam bakkie for use by the assailants who ambushed and killed Masango at Rathmor Stud four months later.

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