Knight accused killer is free

2014-10-29 00:00

ONE of three men charged for the brutal murder of Dan Knight and the attack on his partner, Beth Bucher, at Underberg on October 17, 2013, was acquitted yesterday.

This was after state advocate Siyabonga Buthelezi conceded the state failed to prove its case against Happy Gcina (24).

Although Gcina was named in a confession made by one of his co-accused, this evidence is not legally admissible and can’t be used against him, Buthelezi said.

There was no other evidence that implicated him.

Afterwards Judge Mnguni told Gcina he was free to go.

The court will deliver judgment in respect of the remaining accused, Tsepiso Ramonyane and Bonginkosi Nyawose, next Wednesday.

The state has asked the court to convict both men of the murder and robbery at Outlook farm in which Knight was bludgeoned to death with a hammer.

Bucher was tied up and watched as her partner of 18 years was beaten. She was later tied to a wash basin, her head wrapped in bandages and a surgical glove tied tightly over her nose and mouth.

The robbers escaped with goods including iPads, cellphones, liquor, and firearms and two vehicles, an Isuzu bakkie and Toyota Landcruiser.

Bucher could not identify the attackers.

While the state has argued that there is other acceptable evidence on which Ramonyane and Nyawose can be convicted, the defence have argued that all the evidence is “tainted” and has to be rejected. This is because the key state witness, Thabo Dlamini, testified that he, as well as the accused, were severely assaulted when they were arrested by police and questioned about the incident.

Advocate Zina Anastasiou said this also raises questions about the reliability of a detailed confession about the incident by her client, Nyawose, which was ruled admissible by the court. In it Nyawose stated: “Happy and Tsepiso went to Dan Knight and forced him to lie on the floor … Dan Knight was struggling and I noticed Tsepiso hitting him with a hammer on his head.”

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