Brothers killed on Mpumalanga farm: Accused's court version disputed by older brother

  • Five men are applying for bail in the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court.
  • They were arrested in connection with the killing of brothers, Zenzele and Mgcini Coka.
  • Zakhele, the deceased's older brother, disputes what the accused have told the court.

Zakhele Coka, whose brothers, Zenzele and Mgcini, were shot and killed during an altercation at Pampoenkraal Farm on 9 April, wants to know why the accused were in possession of guns on the day. 

The older brother claims the version given to the court by the accused was not a true reflection of what happened. 

He was in the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga, on Monday when Danie Malan, Orchard Kligenberg, Cornelius Greyling, Ignitius Steinberg and Senzele Yende applied for bail.

The five men are charged with murder, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping. 

In applying for bail, Malan and Greyling presented their affidavits to the court before the magistrate, Simon Fankomo.

The two men denied shooting and killing Zenzele and Mgcini.

READ | MEC calls for ANC to ‘confiscate’ farms of farmers violating human rights

They told the court they responded after they heard a farmer had been injured after being assaulted by a group. When they arrived at the scene, a scuffle between farmers and the group ensued. A gunshot went off, but they denied that they fired it. 

Greyling told the court he had a gun, but he did not use it to shoot at anyone. He said he used his gun to fire warning shots into the ground. 

Speaking outside court after the bail hearing, Zakhele said: 

If I can talk about the first one (Malan), whom they started with at the bail hearing, I am not disputing that he says he did not shoot. All I want to know is why did he have a gun with him on the day? And he kept walking around with it on him.

Recollecting what happened on the day, Zakhele said he was at the scene before the shooting started. After his brothers were gunned down, he was asked to move away from them. 

He said he had gone to the area to look after cattle, but was told a person had been kidnapped and assaulted by farmers. 

The brother claimed he saw the farmer, who allegedly shot one of his brothers. He said when he questioned why the farmer had pointed at his unarmed brother, the farmers told him that his brother was armed. 

The brother disputes that one of his brothers was armed. 

Zakhele said: "Then there was also another [farmer], who also had a gun. He pointed the gun to the ground, and when he did, then the farmer started shooting. When my brother went down [to the ground], he fired a last shot to the head."

Zakhele said his family was struggling to come to terms with the death of the two brothers. He added that they did not know how to move on because they were close and relied on the brothers:

We think of this incident, even in our sleep, and it does not sit well with us…And now we don't know. Even my grandmother is old, and they were the ones who were close to her.

Greyling informed the court that his father was injured after being beaten on the head during the altercation at the farm, but Zakhele disputed the account.

Greyling also told the court that, while he denied shooting the deceased, he did fire warning shots.

But Zakhele said the shooter should have foreseen the shots fired would result in people dying.

The bail hearing continues.

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