Man details deadly assault on herdsman

2008-08-12 00:00

Three men are on trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the kidnapping and murder of a Kranskop herder, whose death sparked an outbreak of tension in the town in 2006.

Businessman Yusuf Mohamed Asmal (39), Mondli Wilson Majozi (21) and Tholinhlanhla Skhumbuzo Nyathikazi (31) pleaded not guilty before Judge Mohini Murugasen and two assessors to charges that they kidnapped and murdered Wanda Dliza Gasa on August 18, 2006. Asmal also faces a third charge that he unlawfully possessed an AK47 rifle.

The state alleges that after assaulting Gasa and causing his death, the accused dumped his body at La Mercy beach.

Yesterday an alleged accomplice, Njabulo Ngubane, told the court he participated in a prolonged assault on Gasa at Asmal’s store, eKwandeni Hypermarket, in a bid to get him to produce goods that he allegedly stole from Asmal.

He testified that when he went to the shop that day he was called by a security guard, Petros Dlamini, who was with a boy aged about 18 or 19.

Dlamini said the boy had stolen from Asmal and that Asmal had said they should “hit” him so he would produce the goods.

Ngubane said he and Dlamini hit the youth on the buttocks with a wet towel until he admitted the theft.

They guarded the boy until Asmal arrived that evening and took him, with Majozi and some others, to point out the stolen goods. When they returned, the youth was injured.

Asmal said the goods were not where he had indicated. Several of them, including Ngubane and the accused, assaulted the youth by hitting him on the sides of his face and kicking him all over his body.

Ngubane said Asmal hit the youth over the head with the butt of a “pump gun” , but the butt broke. He then produced a “38” and used that.

Ngubane identified in court a shotgun, which Asmal has admitted is his licensed firearm.

Ngubane said the youth was “not able to rise up” after the assaults and it was decided he should be taken to hospital. He was helped into Asmal’s bakkie. “They then left with the boy, taking him to hospital.”

He said he heard the next day that the youth had died.

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