Three-year wait for family of murdered paraplegic man ends as trial set to get under way

Graeme Shellerd. (Supplied)
Graeme Shellerd. (Supplied)

The family of a slain paraplegic man is relieved after it emerged that three of his former employees would finally be tried for his murder – more than three years after the killing.

The trial of Zimbabwean nationals, Pfigamani Perfect Muleya and Jeffery Mpofu, is expected to commence in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg before Judge Maletsatsi Mahalelo next week.

Owen Gumbo, a third man who was arrested with them, has since died.

They face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, the unlawful possession of a firearm and the unlawful possession of ammunition.

Body set alight

Muleya, Mpofu and Gumbo were arrested in 2018 after they allegedly fled to Zimbabwe following the brutal killing of 41-year old, wheelchair-bound Randburg resident, Graeme Shellard, in 2016.

It is alleged that the three used a blunt object to bludgeon him over his head on June 4, 2016.  He died on the scene.

The accused also allegedly assaulted Shellard's girlfriend, Leigh Champman.

His body was then dragged into a garage and set alight.

According to an article by Zimbabwe's state-run Chronicle on June 2018, the accused were set to be extradited to South Africa to face justice. They were sent back earlier in 2019.

READ: Zim to extradite 3 for alleged murder of wheelchair-bound SA man

The trial which was meant to start on Monday, was postponed to October 15.

It is expected to run for five days.

Speaking outside court on Monday, Shellard's sister Carina told News24 that it has been a long journey for the family. She added that they were happy the trial would go ahead.

Carina said that although the delays were frustrating, it was out of their hands.

She said they had faith in the prosecution and hoped for a positive outcome.

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