Man 'stripped, dragged behind bakkie'

2010-09-28 23:16

Pietermaritzburg – Two KwaZulu-Natal businessmen are due to appear in the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday following allegations that they stripped an employee naked, tied him up, placed a plastic bag over his head and then dragged him behind a car.

Born Electrical owner Johan Bornman (33) and his senior manager, Theunis Jacobus Schoeman (32), were arrested on Thursday and charged with attempted murder and kidnapping.

The charges were levelled against the two by their employee, Tankiso Skhosana (33), last Wednesday after he was allegedly tied up with a rope and dragged behind a bakkie driven by Bornman on Tuesday evening.

The accused first appeared in court on Monday and the case was remanded to Wednesday for the bail application hearing.

Dragged for 20 metres

A police spokesperson confirmed the incident, saying the accused had allegedly picked up Skhosana and another employee for a job on Tuesday evening. The businessmen then dropped the other employee in Howick after the job was done and drove back to the premises.

At the farm gate Skhosana jumped off to open the gate and one of the accused jumped out too and started swearing at him.

They allegedly grabbed Skhosana and stripped him naked, tying his hands and feet with a rope, then tied the other end of the rope to the bakkie towbar, put a plastic bag over his head and dragged him for about 20 metres.

Then they allegedly put Skhosana in the back of the bakkie and drove off. Skhosana managed to free himself from the ropes and jumped off the bakkie at a traffic light in Merrivale.

He went to the nearest house where he received assistance and some clothes to wear. The police were called.

Skhosana sustained a cut to his forehead and scratches on his body.

Bornman has previous “unrelated minor” convictions, including the contravention of the Fisheries Act and crimen injuria.

An officer close to the investigation said Skhosana reported the matter to the police on Wednesday last week and the two were arrested on Thursday.

During the bail application, defence advocate Vershan Moodley described Skhosana as having “some sort of vendetta” against the accused. He said he had stopped going to work and had a drinking problem, hence the allegations against his clients.

He dismissed allegations on the affidavits made by the investigating officer and the complainant. The allegations are that telephone threats were made to Skhosana and that should the accused be granted bail they will interfere with the witnesses and the investigation.

Bribe allegation

Another allegation was that Bornman’s wife, Anthea, had tried to bribe the investigating officer with R10 000 to make the case “go away”.

Advocate Moodley said the allegations are bold but cannot be substantiated.

“If my clients were any threat to the complainant and the investigation, they could have done anything while they were still free. There’s no evidence before this court that warrants the denial of bail to my clients.

“It is my submission that the bribe allegation is not true and, in fact, it is the investigating officer who tried to solicit a bribe from one of my client’s family [members],” Moodley argued.

Bornman said she had contacted the investigating officer on Sunday to find out about her husband when the officer allegedly told her that the case could “disappear” for R10 000.