Judge rejects alibis

2014-11-26 00:00

TWO men were convicted yesterday of the murder of Winterton businessman and restauranteur Rajoo Grewan (41) and of robbing him and his wife, Philile, in June 2013.

Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, sitting with assessor Fred Heuer, rejected alibis given by the accused, Nhlanhla Gumbi (36) and Siyethemba Mfeka (20), and found that both gave poor evidence in their defence at their trial.

She found the prosecution had proved that the two were among a group of assailants who confronted Grewan at gunpoint as he and his wife arrived home on their smallholding, Sophia’s Rust.

He was taken to a maize field near the house, while some of the robbers forced his wife into their home at gunpoint and ransacked it.

Grewan was later found outside in the field, shot and critically wounded, and was rushed to hospital. He died soon after reaching a local hospital.

The robbers made off with his ­Toyota Hilux bakkie.

Judge Poyo-Dlwati found in her judgment that Gumbi and Mfeka had formed a common purpose with their companions to rob the couple and to shoot Grewan.

The incident occurred on the night of June 7, 2013, soon after Grewan fetched his wife from a church service at a family home.

In evidence, his sister, Anne Grewan, said she had received a phone call from a family member soon after they left saying that something had happened to Grewan. She then drove to her brother’s house accompanied by her mother and their pastor.

En route they saw Philile on the road crying. She told them that Grewan was taken into the maize fields.

Anne said she drove there and found him lying on the ground on his ­stomach. She turned him over and discovered he had been shot. He was still alive and she started hooting for help.

Grewan was rushed to the local ­hospital, but doctors said he would have to be transferred to Pietermaritzburg because of the severity of his injury. He died before an ambulance ­arrived to transfer him. Sentencing procedures will begin today.

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