Karg farm murder described

2012-07-20 00:00

IN a statement that has been admitted as evidence at his trial, Mzwandile Magubane (21), accused of murdering three people on a farm two years ago,told a police officer how he stabbed and cut the throat of elderly farm worker Zakius Mhlongo.

Magubane made the statement to Captain Piet van Zanten when he did a pointing out at the Kargs’ Sherwood farm in Mooi River where Lorraine Karg, domestic worker Hilda Linyane and Mhlongo were murdered on the night of July 21, 2010.

Acting high court Judge M.T. Ncube ruled at the end of a trial- within-a-trial that Magubane did the pointing out and had made a statement to Van Zanten freely.

The case has now reached judgment stage, after Magubane elected to remain silent and declined to testify in his defence or call witnesses.

The court will deliver its verdict next Wednesday.

State advocate Dheelan Naidoo has urged the court to find Magubane guilty of attempted robberyand all three murders (by way of common purpose) and submitted the case against him was “overwhelming”.

He said Magubane’s statement and pointing out to police — and the fact that his palm print was found in the laundry room of the Kargs’ home in the face of his denial that he had ever been there — was proof of his participation in the attack.

Lorraine Karg and Mhlongo were stabbed and their throats were cut, and Linyane was shot during the attack, according to evidence led in the case.

The murders took place when Karg and the employees arrived at the farmhouse unexpectedly to fetch equipment to fight a veld fire, which had allegedly been started deliberately to lure the occupants away.

In his statement to Captain van Zanten shortly after his arrest on July 28, 2010, Magubane said he went to Sherwood farm on the day in question, as he needed money to go to Pretoria to apply for an identity book. “I did not get money. We were three who went to the gate with Nhlanhla and Ngobi [sic]. Nhlanhla opened the gate with a remote and we entered, all three of us.”

Magubane said he went to the office where the safe was kept, but never opened it. He had been called by Ngobi, who alerted him that they had been seen.

He saw “the umlungu’s [white person’s]” vehicle parked outside.

“Ngobi told me that he cut the umlungu … I saw the umlungu lying down dead, a woman with long hair. Ngobi told me that there were people inside the vehicle of the umlungu that was parked. We then both went to that vehicle and took them out … We took them to the kitchen and demanded them to lie down,” he said.

Magubane said he and Ngobi went to the office and took the safe. As they came out, they saw Mhlongo wanting to “fight”.

“I stabbed him on the back and cut his neck. I used the knife that was sharp,” he said. “I called Ngobi and told him I stabbed the old man and Ngobi told me to finish him; that is when I cut the neck,” he said.

Magubane is the sole remaining accused in the case after the prosecution was stopped earlier this year against his co-accused, Nhlanhla Dladla (22), due to a lack of evidence after an accomplice witness refused to testify.

A third suspect, Colin Maphalala, was shot dead by police when he tried to disarm a policeman inside an office at the Mooi River police station while being fingerprinted.

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