Six in court, two held for farm attacks

2017-02-22 10:40
The suspects appeared for robbery and murder.

The suspects appeared for robbery and murder. (File)

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Six suspects charged with cases linked to farm attacks appeared in the Himeville Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Two others have also been arrested for separate farm attacks in the area around Underberg.

The suspects who appeared on Monday were charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and robbery.

Police had initially arrested one suspect for the murder of Gavin Carter, who was shot and killed at his home earlier this month, but more arrests were made at a later stage.

Thobani Mbanjwa (19), Sandile Mbanjwa (26), Mandlenkosi Ncobeni (38) and Zwelithini Ncubeni (37) have been charged with Carter’s murder.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said the matter was postponed to February 27 for a formal bail application.

While the Underberg community was still reeling in shock at Carter’s murder, another farmer, Trevor Rees, was brutally attacked and later died in hospital.

The Witness reported that the community was living in fear following the attacks in the area.

Thobani Shoba (27) and Lulekani Shezi (29) appeared for Rees’s murder.

The Witness has learnt that Shezi was released because police investigations showed that he was not present on the actual day of the incident.

“Shoba abandoned his bail application and Shezi was released on warning. The case was postponed for March 20 for further investigations,” said Kara.

It is understood another arrest is imminent in Rees’s case.

Meanwhile, police arrested two suspects aged between 25 and 30 for a robbery and attack on a couple at Woodhaven Farm in the Himeville area.

The two were due to appear in the Himeville Magistrate’s Court.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Himeville police had conducted an intelligence-driven operation in their area after receiving information with regards to their wanted suspects.

“They followed up on the intelligence and arrested two suspects who were found in possession of property suspected to be taken during a house robbery. Both suspects were arrested and charged with robbery.”

Gwala said that on February 10, the couple were attacked by at least five men who pointed guns at them, tied them up and locked them inside a walk-in safe.

“The suspects took clothing, jewellery and fled the scene in their vehicle … Later the stolen vehicle was found abandoned in the area,” said Gwala.

KZN acting provincial commissioner Major-General Bheki Langa appealed to the community to work with local police in identifying those behind the attacks.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  farm attacks

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