Murderer tells of farmer’s last moments

2011-06-02 00:00

THE rustling of leaves underfoot alerted slain Rietvlei farmer Alan Rowe to the presence of intruders near his garage.

He had tried to speed away in reverse amid an outbreak of gunfire, the high court was told yesterday by a man who is serving a life sentence for his role in the farmer’s May 13, 2009 murder.

Sibonelo Duma, who pleaded guilty to the murder at a previous hearing, gave evidence for the state at the trial of five men whom he identified as co-perpetrators yesterday.

The accused, Zakhele Ndlela (31), Mbuso Mabaso (19), Msawakhe Khumalo (25), Zwelibuyile Mhlongo (30) and Goodenough Ngiba (27), all pleaded not guilty and claimed in statements that they were elsewhere at the time of the shooting.

However, Duma told the court that he was among a group of seven intruders, including the five accused, who entered the premises that night and planned to rob the farmer,

Another gang member waited in a getaway vehicle about a kilometre away.

When the Rowe arrived home, one of the intruders tramped on some leaves and made him “suspect something”, and Rowe quickly climbed back into his vehicle.

He reversed at high speed and the lights came on, said Duma.

He heard gunshots going off, but did not know where they were coming from or who was firing.

He then saw Mabaso — who was armed with a rifle — firing in the direction of the lights of the farmer’s vehicle as it reversed.

Earlier yesterday Rowe’s neighbour and friend, Gavin Hill, testified that Rowe had visited him the night he was murdered.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.