Four deny killing boy (7), woman

2010-05-20 00:00

FOUR men are on trial in the high court in Pietermaritzburg for the alleged 2008 murders of domestic worker Mildred Dlamini and her friend’s seven-year-old son, Kwanele Mnikathi.

The boy was allegedly stabbed to death because the assailants feared he would be able to identify them.

All the accused — Zamokwakhe Nxumalo (22), Phumulani Luthuli (21) and two youths aged 17 and 16 years — pleaded not guilty to the murders yesterday, as well as to additional charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, housebreaking and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

The murders and robbery occurred on December 12, 2008, at Sunnycrest Farm in the Bishopstowe area, where Dlamini worked for Colin Lucke and his family.

The state alleges that the Luckes were on holiday at the time of the robbery.

Luthuli allegedly armed himself with a knife before going to the farm.

According to the indictment, the four accused went to the farm knowing Dlamini was alone there.

They allegedly went to her room where the house keys were kept and lay in wait for her.

When she emerged, they accosted her and she began to scream.

She was allegedly stabbed by both Luthuli and one of the youths, who had found a knife in a farm workshop.

They robbed Dlamini of her cellphone.

“The accused then noticed [Kwanele] was also present and believed that he would be able to identify them. They then and there decided to kill him,” the state alleges.

After gaining entry to the house, the accused ransacked it and made off with computer equipment, clothing, jewellery, a camera and a large number of firearms and ammunition.

The robbers loaded the stolen goods into Lucke’s silver Mazda bakkie and drove away after finding the keys in the house.

The bakkie was reco­vered, with some of the stolen firearms and other goods.

Colin Lucke told Judge Anton van Zyl and assessors that he employed one of the youths and Luthuli during 2008.

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