Podolski murder accused says he was attacked by assailants

2009-04-21 00:00

One of two men charged with the murder of Cramond farmer Ezrah Podolski (71) — who died after being bludgeoned on the head, apparently with a shovel‚ and was left tied to a tree on his farm on September 5, 2006 — yesterday testified in the high court in Pietermaritzburg that he was threatened by the assailants, whom he did not know.

He has denied involvement.

Nkosingpile Khumalo (21) of Matimotolo testified before Judge Gregory Kruger and two assessors that his co-accused, Zikhulile Simbela (29) of Cramond, was not among the attackers.

He said the attackers left him tied up under a bridge after the incident and threatened to kill him if he “did anything”.

A passerby came to his aid and he decided to go home to Matimotolo. He said he considered going to the police and reporting the matter, but decided not to because he had been threatened.

The two men have both pleaded not guilty to charges that they murdered Podolski, robbery with aggravating circumstances of Podolski and his wife Miriam and assault of their domestic worker, Gloria Ngidi.

The state alleges that the accused were employed by Podolski on his farm, Eric’s Farm near Albert Falls, on a temporary basis.

Some time prior to the incident, it is alleged that the accused and a certain Tsepo Khumalo conspired to rob the Podolskis.

On the morning of the crime, Podolski allegedly took them to a work site where he was hit on the head with a spade and tied to a tree.

They then allegedly returned to the farmhouse, where they assaulted Ngidi and Miriam and committed robbery.

The case is proceeding.

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