Three in court for murder of Dan Knight

2014-05-27 00:00

THREE men made a fleeting appearance in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday in connection with the murder of well known Underberg farmer Dan Knight, who was bludgeoned to death with a hammer on Outlook farm on October 17 last year.

The Witness has previously reported that Knight’s partner, Beth Buchner — who is likely to be called as a state witness in the trial — was forced to watch as Knight was beaten to death.

The accused, Tsepiso Sthembiso Ramonyane (20), Bonginkosi Eric Nyawose (33) and Happy Gcina (24), all of Nkwezela area near Bulwer, have not yet pleaded to the charges facing them as their legal representatives were still consulting with them yesterday and requested the case be postponed until today.

According to the state’s indictment, each accused faces charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances of two motor vehicles, cellphones, firearms and other valuables.

The state alleges in the indictment that the accused believed that Knight kept cash on his farm to pay his employees and that prior to the incident they planned to rob him of money and other valuables.

In order to execute their plan they allegedly armed themselves with firearms, a knife and a 10-pound hammer.

On Wednesday, October 16, they went to Underberg with the intention of executing their plan the following day.

The next day they went to Outlook farm and hid in a forest until night fall.

At about 8 pm they allegedly went to the homestead that Knight and Bucher shared, entered and accosted the couple.

“They demanded cash and the keys to the safe. The accused bound their hands and feet with cable ties and gagged them with bandages. The deceased [Knight] was repeatedly assaulted with the hammer,” the indictment states.

He eventually died of head injuries.

The state alleges that Bucher was taken to the bathroom where she too was gagged and tied with rope to the washbasin pedestal.

After ransacking the house, the accused allegedly fled the scene in two vehicles belonging to Knight.

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