Lieutenant: I will kill him!

2003-04-10 23:46

Pretoria - The young defence force lieutenant suspected of assaulting his commanding general allegedly swore at him, called him a racist and threatened to kill him.

"Fuck David. I am not afraid of him, I will kill him," lieutenant Mthunzi Nkonki said while a fellow lieutenant and a corporal tried to calm him down after the alleged attack on Masters.

The military court in Thaba Tshwane heard on Thursday that Brigadier-General David Masters, commanding general of the Engineering Corps, followed Nkonki in his car after the incident "to apprehend him".

Lieutenant Frank Nzima, who was on duty at the time of the assault, was in the car with Masters. Nkonki stopped and Masters parked behind him.

Corporal Johan van Schalkwyk, who was also with them, testified that Nkonki was very aggressive when he approached Masters. He (Van Schalkwyk) and Nzima stopped Nkonki and tried to calm him down.

Nkonki apparently said that Masters "took care of whites only" and threatened to kill him.

Meanwhile, Masters took a stick from his car "to protect himself".

"The general is an old man and he was afraid. He could see that we could not really stop Nkonki," Van Schalkwyk said.

Masters got into his car and Nkonki left. Masters filed a complaint with police after the incident and went to hospital.

Dr Beulah Molefi of 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane testified on Thursday that two of Masters's ribs were cracked.

Nkonki is facing five charges of assault, insubordination, behaviour to the detriment of military discipline and scandalous behaviour.

He allegedly confronted Masters in his office in February because he (Masters) apparently did not do enough to ensure his (Nkonki's) promotion.

Masters earlier testified that Nkonki was aggressive and refused to leave his office. The two started to wrestle after Masters pushed him out of the door.

The case was postponed to May 7.