Robbery accused: ‘I was at a funeral’

2012-06-20 00:00

AN Umlazi man accused of torturing a toddler and five other people by pouring boiling water over them during a robbery at an Albert Falls farmhouse denies being at the scene of the crime.

Mvusi Dlamini (28) told New Hanover magistrate Rod Stewart yesterday that he had attended a funeral on the day before the incident, which happened on the night of February 26, and then he went home.

Dlamini and a co-accused, Lucky Mbonambi (26), are applying for bail.

A third accused, who is allegedly a neighbour of the robbery victims, Siyabonga Mchunu, is not applying for bail at this stage.

Dlamini testified yesterday that if he was held in custody, he would be unable to continue employing a private attorney to represent him in the present case as well as in another case in Verulam in which he is charged in connection with a cash heist.

He would prefer to hire his own lawyer than rely on legal aid.

Dlamini said that contrary to the evidence of the investigating officer, he was employed by a firm manufacturing clothing, earning R750 per week.

He said he could afford to pay R2 000 bail, and was prepared to hand over his passport to the police and to report to a police station regularly if he was released.

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Swami Pillay, earlier testified in opposition to bail being granted that Dlamini was identified as the person who had poured boiling water over the robbery victims, the Lakhi and Valli families, at Albert Falls on the night of February 26.

They are charged with robbing Ahmed Lakhi senior of goods worth R52 000 and of robbing Firoza Valli on the same occasion of valuables, including R40 000 cash, a wedding ring worth R25 000 and other jewellery.

The accused are also charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for allegedly pouring boiling water over six of the victims, including a toddler, and with fraud for purchasing petrol with a stolen petrol card.

They also face a charge of stealing a Toyota Run-X car at Morningside in Durban on January 23 this year, possession of six live rounds of .45 ammunition and unlawful possession of a .45 Norinco pistol.

The bail application is proceeding.


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