Phones prove case

2017-12-15 17:11

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Two men were on Thursday found guilty of murdering a well-known pastor and taxi-owner in his bedroom in May 2015.

Joseph Masikane (73) was killed and his wife Janet (64) was wounded in her right arm at their home in Kingfisher Road, Lynnfield Park. Acting Judge Hadebe found Simphiwe Maphumulo (26) and Bonani Mkhize (38) responsible.

Masikane had owned four taxis that operated in Hammarsdale and on a route between that area and Pietermaritzburg. The Pietermaritzburg high court made no finding as to the motive behind his killing.

Hadebe said that Maphumulo and Mkhize had not called any witnesses to testify.

The former’s defence was that he was only in the Lynnfield Park area after the night of the murder, while Mkhize claimed he had an alibi. However, the alibi was not called to take the stand.

She rejected their defence.

The judge said the State had relied largely on circumstantial and cell phone evidence to prove its case.

“The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming,” she said, adding the evidence pointed directly to both men being involved in the killing.

Janet had testified that she and her husband were getting ready for bed when they were attacked. As she came out of the bathroom and was about to switch off the light, she felt something “strike” her arm.

She heard sounds and noises but did not know what was going on. Soon afterwards she heard two very loud noises and the sound of the glass in the wall unit shattering. She only became aware that they were being shot at when she saw holes in the wall unit.

Janet called out to her husband and ran to the bedroom. She asked him if he had called the police. He said his cellphone and glasses were left in the dining room and that she should shout for help from the neighbours. She added she opened the window and shouted.

By then two intruders were in the house. Her husband asked them what they wanted and one replied “money”. She then heard a gunshot, followed by another. Masikane died at the scene. Nothing had been taken from the home.

Sentencing has been postponed to January 25.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder case

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